Fresh borrowings by the Federal, and States as well as sub-national governments, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has raised Nigeria’s total debt stock to about N46.25 trillion or $103.11 billion as at December 31, 2022, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has said.
The debt management agency said the new debt figure consisting of the domestic and external debt components for the three tiers of government, namely the Federal and the 36 State Governments and the FCT is higher by about N6.69 trillion, or $7.34 billion.
The new figure, made up of N27.55 trillion, or $61.4billion as total debt stock and N18.70 trillion, or $41.69 billion as total external debt stock, grew from about N39.56 trillion, or $95.77 billion recorded on December 31, 2021.
Apart from new borrowings by the various tiers of government primarily to fund the deficits in the budget and execute projects to strengthen the economy, the DMO attributed the debt increase to the issuance of Promissory Notes by the FGN to various contractors to settle some outstanding contractual liabilities.
Details showed that out of a total of $20.2billion identified as Multilateral debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and affiliate financial institutions by the Federal and Sub-national governments, about $16.03billion, or 89 percent was accounted for by the former, while the latter was responsible for about $4.18billion, or 11 percent 1as at December 31, 2022.
Similarly, out of the sum of about $5.04 billion classified under bilateral debts owed African Development Bank, African Finance Corporation and affiliate financial institutions, the Federal Government had a share of $4.79billion, while the States and the Federal Capital Territory accounted for about $251.4 million over the corresponding period.
Other details showed that bilateral debt by the Federal Government to the China Export-Import Bank, JICA, India, and KFW stood at about $30.34million.
While Commercial debts through Eurobond Diaspora Bond issuance remained unchanged at $15.62billion over the corresponding period, debts as a result of promissory notes issued to local contractors dropped from $577million to $547.9million, and syndicated loans arranged by the African Finance Corporation (AFC) rose from $92.6million to $260million in the latest figures released by the debt management agency.
In terms of domestic debts, while the Federal Government’s figure rose from N302.4 billion in October 2022 to N406.8 billion in December 2022, the figure for the states and FCT declined from N5.36 trillion in September 30,2022 to N5.34 trillion as at December 30, 2022.
The new debt figures signed by the Director General of DMO, Patience Oniha, and published on the debt management agency’s website on Thursday said the Federal Government was committed to on-going initiatives to increase revenues from oil and non-oil
They include policies being implemented under the provisions of the 2023 Finance Acts and the Strategic Revenue
Mobilisation initiative are expected to support debt sustainability in the country.
Despite the country’s rising debt profile, the DMO said total public debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio for December 31, 2022, stood at 23.20 percent, which was slightly higher than about 22.47 percent recorded in the corresponding figure for December 31, 2021.
“The ratio of 23.20% is within the 40% limit self-imposed by Nigeria, the 55% limit recommended by the World Bank/International Monetary Fund, and the 70% limit recommended by the Economic Community of West African States,” the DMO said.