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Next Level: Will Buhari go from “Baba Go Slow” to “Baba Gbese”?

As Nigerians brace up for what is widely termed “next level” in line with the ruling party’s slogan, the focus will be on the performance of the economy; particularly government finance.



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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in for a second term of four years on May 29th, 2019. As Nigerians brace up for what is widely termed “next level” in line with the ruling party’s slogan, the focus will be on the performance of the economy; particularly government finance.

One particular aspect of the government’s finance that will be closely watched is the public debt profile. Nigeria’s public debt had risen considerably under President Buhari’s initial four-year term and could rise further as he continues with his expansionist programmes.

Buhari’s debt profile: As of the last full quarter under former President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria had a public debt profile of $65.4 billion and N12.6 trillion for foreign and local debts respectively. By December 2018 (March official numbers not yet published), the Debt Management Office placed Nigeria’s public debt at $79.4 billion and N24.3 trillion for foreign and local debts respectively. This suggests the Government adds about $14 billion and N11 trillion to the foreign and local debt profile annually. During Buhari’s first four-year term alone, Nigeria’s debt profile increased by almost double in naira value (93%).

Interpretation: Under Buhari, Nigeria doubled its local debts which are mostly denominated in naira. Interest rates paid for the debts ranged from 12% to 17% over the last four years in line with the rate of inflation. Local borrowing, though less risky compared to foreign borrowing, is significantly more expensive and take years to pay off.

With the government borrowing more from the economy than the private sector, interest rates for Nigerians and businesses operating in Nigeria have remained high and unsustainable. The effect is that most businesses cannot borrow at such high rates, further depressing economic growth.

President Muhammadu Buhari during Wednesday’s Inauguration

More debt: This government is likely to continue borrowing as its revenue profile continues to worsen. The government has for years collected less than 50% of its budgeted revenues (see page 35) while paying as high as 79% of its revenue for debt servicing (foreign and local).

Nigeria is projected to borrow about N1.9 trillion in 2019 via a mixture of foreign and local debts. This will further add to the current debt pile. Going by an average annual net debt increase of $3.5 billion and N2.4 trillion (public and local debt respectively) for this government in the past four years, Nigeria could be saddled with a debt profile of $100 billion and N35 trillion respectively in the next four years. This could surely make the President Baba Gbese (father of debt in Nigeria’s local Yoruba dialect).

Nairametrics is Nigeria's top business news and financial analysis website. We focus on providing resources that help small businesses and retail investors make better investing decisions. Nairametrics is updated daily by a team of professionals. Post updated as "Nairametrics" are published by our Editorial Board.



  1. Anonymous

    May 30, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Data never lie

  2. Temitope Adeola

    May 30, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    I wonder how we reason here in Nigeria….
    Why will the debt profile not go up…?
    You wanted to embark on developmental activities while you focus on maintaining Stabilised Foreign reserve and still keep all this expensive legislators….? while we remain import dependent Nation with low productive capacity…..!
    The president just signed the budget and you could see his frustration at the hands of these legislooters packaging severance package into the budget before they vacate their offices this week or next

    Haaa.. That is not how they taught me Developmental Economics….

    We are not joking…..!

    We should stop blaming Buhari….

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Tech News

Twitter CEO auctions his first-ever tweet on Twitter, bidding at $2.5 million

Jack Dorsey is auctioning his first-ever tweet on a website that sells tweets as non-fungible tokens.



Square buys $50 million worth of Bitcoins, Twitter warns political figures to abstain from fake, misleading statements, Has Twitter's Jack Dorsey changed the popular narrative attached to Nigerians?, Twitter forecasts future drop in revenue after milestone record in 2019 Q4 , Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey invest N2.3 million in Nigerian startup, DevCareer , Some Verified accounts may not be able to tweet, as Twitter freezes password reset to address cyberattack

Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey is auctioning his first-ever tweet on Twitter “just setting up my twttr” on a website that sells tweets as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The tweet was listed for sale on ‘Valuables by Cent’ – a tweets marketplace that was launched three months ago. The tweet was first made in March 2006

The tweet received offers as high as $88,888.88 within minutes of Jack tweeting a link to the listing on” Valuables by Cent” on Friday.

Currently, bidding has reached $2.5 million (€2.1 million) indicating the potential in selling virtual objects that have been authenticated through blockchain technology.

The highest bid for the tweet — $2.5 million — came from Bridge Oracle CEO Sina Estavi. It topped cryptocurrency pioneer, Justin Sun’s $2 million bid.

The final buyer of the tweet will receive a certificate, digitally signed and verified by Jack Dorsey, as well as the metadata of the original tweet. The data will include information such as the time the tweet was posted and its text contents. Most of this information, however, is already publicly available.

According to Valuables by Cent’s terms, 95% of a tweet’s sale will go to the original creator while the remainder will go to the website.

What you should know

  • NFTs is a unique digital certificate that states who owns a photo, video, or other forms of online media.
  • Dorsey’s 15-year-old tweet is one of the most famous tweets ever on the platform.
  • Bidding had reached $2.5 million (€2.1 million) on Saturday, indicating the potential in selling virtual objects that have been authenticated through blockchain technology.
  • More people are currently bidding their tweets on the platform.

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Stock Market

Bamboo’s current rate for buying U.S Stocks weakens to N492/$1

Bamboo is currently offering its users a premium of more than 20% compared to the official exchange rate.



The fast-rising Nigerian stock broking application, Bamboo, is currently offering an exchange rate of N492 to the dollar.

About two weeks ago,  the Nigerian stock trading app offered an exchange rate of about N484 to $1.

The green-colored trading app known for allowing local-based Nigerians to invest in stocks listed on the world’s biggest stock market (New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ) is currently offering its users a premium of more than 20% compared to the official exchange rate set by the Nigerian apex bank.

READ: Nigerian Bitcoin P2P surges by 15% since CBN Crypto ban

That being said, Nairametrics’s most recent research observed Chaka. ng offers the lowest exchange rate charge of N480 to 1$, other Nigerian-based stock trading apps that include Trove and Risevest currently offer their clients N491.68 and N486 to $1 respectively.

In addition, other leading fintech platforms reviewed by Nairametrics also presently offer exuberant rates as high as about N519 to a dollar, thereby adding more transaction costs on a significant number of Nigerians hoping to trade such financial assets.

A growing number of Nigerians are currently increasing their exposure to the U.S stock market taking to the current bearish trend that is being witnessed in the Nigerian Equity market and growing urge in hedging against the weakening local currency.

Consequently, a lot of Nigerians are flocking the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on the account it has about 2,800 companies listed, while the NASDAQ has about 3,300 stocks listed. This gives Nigerian investors numerous options where they can invest their money. It is also why the US economy attracts billions of dollars in portfolio investments annually.

READ: Many Nigerians are trooping into foreign stock markets

Bamboo is an investment platform that gives Africans real-time access to invest in or trade over 3,500 stocks listed on the American and Nigerian exchanges right from their smartphones or personal computer.

In partnership with US-based Drive Wealth LLC, Bamboo provides seamless, secure access to US and Nigerian securities.

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