Patience Oniha, DMO, External debt servicing
Patience Oniha, Director General, Debt Management Office

The Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha has disclosed that the office has raised N410 billion from the domestic capital market to finance the 2018 budget. While addressing some newsmen in Abuja, Oniha said the country’s public debt stood at N22.37 trillion as at end of June, 2018 ($73.31 billion) of which $22 billion was external.

The DMO had said that Nigeria’s external debt was 26.64% as at the end of 2017 compared to 20.04% that was recorded in 2016. Domestic debt, however, decreased, standing at 73.36% less than the 79.96% that was recorded in 2016.

In June, DMO revealed plans by the Federal Government to raise $2.8 billion of debt offshore as part of its 2018 budget.

Despite the growing interest rate in the United States, the Federal Government has laid out plans to borrow which could see the country paying a higher premium compared to its recent debt sale in February 2018.

Statistics from the DMO had, in July, 2018 revealed that the World Bank’s portfolio in Nigeria stood at $8.52 billion, indicating an increase of 48.69% within a two-year period.

Between March 31, 2015, and March 31, 2018, Nigeria’s indebtedness to the global bank increased by $2.7 billion, up from $5.73 billion to $8.52 billion.

Breakdown of Nigeria’s World Bank debt

A large percentage of Nigeria’s indebtedness belongs to the International Development Association, an arm of the World Bank which gives concessional loans to troubled and “fragile” countries. Nigeria owes the International Development Association the sum of $8.4 billion.

Nigeria also owes about $124.18 million to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, another arm of the World Bank.

From the foregoing, it can be seen that the total sum of Nigeria’s World Bank debt (that is $8.52 billion) accounts for about 38.6% of the country’s entire foreign debt.

Nigeria has over the years relied on loans from the World Bank to finance/facilitate many projects, even on occasions when such policy moves were controversial.

The DMO was established on 4th October 2000, to centrally coordinate the management of Nigeria’s debt, which was hitherto being done by a myriad of establishments in an uncoordinated fashion.

The office is saddled with the responsibility of putting in place a good debt management practices that make a positive impact on economic growth and national development, particularly in reducing debt stock and cost of public debt service in a manner that saves resources for investment in poverty reduction programs.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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