September 12, 2022

Nigeria’s public debts rise to N45.25tr

By Biodun Busari

Nigeria’s debts have risen by about N4 trillion in the past five months to accumulate to N45.25 trillion according to official documents.

The documents revealed that the federal government raised about N3.34 trillion through its regular issuance of domestic debt instruments between April and August.

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Depreciation of naira and external debts

It was also reported that the depreciation of the naira also has increased the external debt stocks.

The documents reviewed were from the monthly issuance reports by the Debt Management Office (DMO), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also, two top investment and finance organisations that deal in government debt issues – Arthur Steven Asset Management and Vetiva Capital Management Limited were involved.

Earlier in the month, the DMO had restated that the national debt stocks had risen to N41.6 trillion by the end of the first quarter ended March 31, 2022.

The reports specified that the government raised N1.116 trillion through bond issuance within the five-month period. It also raised N1.999 trillion through the Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTBs) and mopped up N220.01 billion through the Open Market Operation (OMO).

The DMO indicated that it used the CBN’s official exchange rate of N415.75 per dollar as of March 31, 2022, as the conversion rate for the country’s external debts for the first quarter. The apex bank’s official rate remained at N423.48 per dollar as of August 31, 2022.

A breakdown of the total debt stocks was based on the increase in external debts to currency depreciation from N16.62 trillion in the first quarter to N16.93 trillion as of the end of last month.

Domestic debts

The domestic debts, because of new issuances, rose from N24.987 trillion in the first quarter to N28.322 trillion by the end of August.

The debt stock, which stood at N32.92 trillion by December 2020, rose to N39.556 trillion by December 2021 and rose further to N41.6 trillion by the end of the first quarter of 2022.

The federal government accounted for more than 88 per cent of the debt stock.

The rising debt burden continued to elicit heated public debates as public and private sectors’ experts expressed concerns over the country’s fiscal sustainability amidst dwindling national revenue.