Nigeria’s public debt hits N24.4 trillion

Ms Patience Oniha, Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO), says the total public debt of Nigeria as at Dec. 31, 2018 is N24.38 trillion.
Oniha, who made the disclosure during a news conference in Abuja, said that the figure comprised debt owed by the Federal Government, States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
She explained that the figure was N2.66 trillion higher than the N21.7 trillion recorded as at Dec. 31, 2017, and represents a year-on-year growth of 12.25 per cent.
“Further details provided in the report showed that more progress was made towards achieving the target Debt Stock mix of 60 per cent (Domestic) and 40 per cent(External).
“The share of domestic debt dropped to 68.18 per cent from 73.36 per cent as at Dec. 31, 2017 thereby achieving a mix of 68.18 per cent and 31.82 per cent in the debt stock.”
She said the federal government loans accounted for 78 per cent of the figure, while states and the FCT accounted for 22 per cent.
The Federal Government, she said, has an external debt stock of N6.4 trillion and Domestic at N17.11 trillion, culminating in N19.23 trillion, while the states and the FCT have external debt of N1.25 trillion and N3.85 trillion domestic debt, culminating in N5.15 trillion.
Oniha said that the Federal Government’s domestic debt stock includes N331.12 billion Promissory Notes issued to Oil Marketing Companies and State Governments in December 2018.
She added that the strategy of using relatively cheaper and longer tenor external funds was achieving the expected objectives, some of which were to create more space for other borrowers in the domestic market.
“Other objectives are to extend the average tenor of the debt stock in order to reduce refinancing risk and increase external reserves,” adding that the implementation of the strategy led to an injection of N855 billion through the redemption of Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTBs) in 2018.

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