Nigeria’s Public Debt rose to N38 trillion as of September 30th, 2021. This is according to the latest data obtained from the Debt Management Office.
Nigeria’s public debt is now N5 trillion up 15% from the N32.9 trillion reported in December 2020. This is the highest debt profile ever recorded dating back to 2010 when the data was being collated.
The country has also now added N9.3 trillion to its public debt profile since the start of this decade in 2020 which is just two years an average of N4.5 trillion annually. This compares to the N2.2 trillion yearly average in the decade ending December 2019.
- According to the data, the external debt portion (converted to Naira) is about N15.57 trillion while local debt is N18.2 trillion and N4.19 trillion for FG and states respectively.
- The FG has doubled down on foreign debts due to their low-interest rates even though it is more difficult to service.
- Total external debt reported is $38.9 billion or 40.9% of total public debt. Nigeria’s external debt is made up of multilateral, bilateral, commercial, and promissory notes
- Multilateral, Bilateral, and Commercial debt printed $18.2 billion, $4.3 billion, and $18.6 billion respectively.
- Nigeria’s local debt is divided into Treasury bills, FGN Bonds, FGN Savings Bonds, Sukuk, Green Bonds, and Promissory notes. Treasury Bills and FGN Bonds alone make up N3.4 trillion and N13.4 trillion respectively.
Euro Bonds drive debt binge
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has said that Nigeria’s Public Debt hit N38.005 trillion in Q3 2021 due to the issue of euro bonds. The is according to a press release titled, “DMO Publishes Total Public Debt for Quarter 3, 2021”.
The $4 billion Eurobonds issued by the government in September 2021 accounted for the majority of the increase of N2.540 trillion compared to the similar amount of N35.465 trillion at the end of Q2 2021.
According to the DMO, Eurobonds have benefited the economy by raising Nigeria’s external reserves, consequently sustaining the Naira exchange rate and providing critical funds for the Federal Government to finance various projects in the budget.
What the DMO is saying
The report stated, “In line with its practice, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has published Nigeria’s Total Public Debt as of September 30, 2021. The Data which includes the Total External and Domestic Debts of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), thirty-six (36) State Governments, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), shows that Nigeria’s Public Debt was N38.005 trillion or USD92.626 billion at the end of Q3 2021.”
The report identified the surge in Nigeria’s debt to be linked to the increased Eurobonds. The report said, “The increase of N2.540 trillion when compared to the corresponding figure of N35.465 trillion at the end of Q2 2021 was largely accounted for by the USD4 billion Eurobonds issued by the Government in September 2021.”
The sale of the $4 billion Eurobonds has benefited the economy significantly by raising Nigeria’s external reserves, consequently strengthening the Naira Exchange Rate and providing sufficient funds to enable the Federal Government to finance major budget initiatives.
The report added, “The issuance of the USD4 billion Eurobonds has brought significant benefits to the economy by increasing the level of Nigeria’s External Reserves, thereby supporting the Naira Exchange Rate and providing the necessary capital to enable the Federal Government finance various projects in the Budget. The triple tranche USD4 billion Eurobond, issued in September 2021, was for the implementation of the New External Borrowing of USD6.18 billion in the 2021 Appropriation Act.”