Patience Oniha, DMO, External debt servicing
Patience Oniha, DMO's Director General

Debt Management Office (DMO) has pegged Nigeria’s total debt at N22.43 trillion as at September 2018, an increase of 85.06 per cent when compared to its standing in June 2015, a month after President Muhammadu Buhari came into power.

Three years ago, the country’s debt profile was estimated at N12.12 trillion, but recorded a sharp increase of 79.25%, hitting N21.73 trillion in 2017. Despite the increase, Nigeria’s debt was within the sustainable threshold of 56% recommended for developing countries according to DMO in 2017.

In a recent DMO data, Nigeria’s total debt recorded an increment of N10.31 trillion within the period of June 30, 2015 to September 2018. With the external component of the Federal Government, State governments and FCT’s debt rising from $10.32 billion by 109.21 per cent within the years under review, to $21.59 billion in 2018.

 

Domestic debt of FG, States and FCT

Meanwhile, DMO estimated a N15.81 trillion for Federal Government and the subnational government’s domestic debt, with N12.29 trillion credited to the Federal Government out of the total domestic debt in the latest report.

It was a sharp contrast when compared to the nation’s recorded debt in June 30, 2015, with the States and FCT recording N1.69 trillion combined, while Federal Government owed N8.4 billion.

DMO, however, noted there was a slight difference between the periods of September 30, 2018, and June 30, 2018.

 

Difference in both quarters

Speaking on the differences in both quarters, September 30, 2018, and June 30, 2018, DMO stated,

External debt declined by 2.02 per cent to $21.59bn due largely to the redemption by Nigeria of a $500m Eurobond which matured on July 12, 2018.

The Eurobond which was issued for a tenor of five years in 2013 was the first Eurobond maturity for Nigeria and Nigeria’s ability to repay it seamlessly boosted Nigeria’s position as a good credit in the International Capital Market.

The domestic debt of the FGN, states and the FCT grew by 1.19 per cent from N15.63tn in June 2018 to N15.8tn in September 2018. This increase of N185bn was attributed to the FGN (N135bn) and states and FCT (N50bn).

The combination of an increase in the level of domestic debt and a decrease in the external debt stock resulted in a slight shift in the portfolio composition.

As of September 30, 2018, the share of domestic debt was 70.51 per cent compared to 69.83 per cent in June 2018.

This trend is expected to be reversed in Quarter Four 2018 as the new external borrowing of N849bn (about $2.78bn) provided in the 2018 Appropriation Act is expected to be raised within the quarter.

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