HOW NIGERIA BORROWED 18.89 TRILLION IN BUHARI’S 5 YEARS

Everest Amaefule, John Alechenu, Nike Popoola, ’Femi Asu and Okechukwu Nnodim

Nigeria’s debt public debt hit a total of N31.01tn at the end of June, the Debt Management Office announced on Wednesday.

This means that in the last five years under the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the country’s debt rose by N18.89tn.

As of the end of June 2015, one month after the present regime came into power, the country’s debt profile stood at N12.12tn.

This means that within a period of five years, the nation’s debt profile rose by N18.89tn.

It also means that the country’s debt profile has risen by 155.86 per cent within the five-year period.

Nigeria’s total public debt stock includes the debt stock of the Federal Government, the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

However, most of the debts were contracted by the Federal Government.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had on Tuesday released some data showing that the Federal Government’s component of the country’s debt stood at N24.52tn as of March 31.

A statement issued by the DMO on Wednesday indicated that the debt increased by N2.38tn within a space of three months.

For the country’s public debt stock as of June 30, 2020, the DMO said, “The data show that in naira terms, the total public debt stock which comprises the debt stock of the Federal Government, the 36 state governments and the FCT stood at N31.009tn or $85.897bn.

“The corresponding figures for March 31, 2020 were N28.628tn or $79.303bn.”

The debt office explained that the increase in the debt stock by N2.381tn or $6.59bn was accounted for by the $3.36bn budget support loan from the International Monetary Fund and new domestic borrowing to finance the revised 2020 Appropriation Act.

It said this includes the issuance of the N162.56bn Sukuk and promissory notes issued to settle claims of exporters.

The debt office said, “The DMO expects the public debt stock to grow as the balance of the new domestic borrowing is raised and expected disbursements are made by the World Bank, African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank which were arranged to finance the 2020 Budget.

“Recall that the 2020 Appropriation Act had to be revised in the face of the adverse and severe impact of COVID-19 on government’s revenues and increased expenditure needs on health and economic stimulus, among others.”

It stated that additional promissory notes were expected to be issued in the course of the year.

This and new borrowings by state governments were also expected to increase the public debt stock, the DMO explained.

A breakdown of the country’s total debt showed that the external component amounted to N11.36tn or 36.65 per cent of the total debt.

This leaves N19.65tn or 63.35 per cent of the country’s debt portfolio as the domestic component.

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