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Nigeria’s total debt rises by N191 billion in 3 months

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Nigeria’s total debt stock rose by N191bn in the first quarter of this year, this is according to data released by the Debt Management Office (DMO).

The DMO, in the figures released on Wednesday, said the debt stock rose to N33.107tn as of the end of March 2021 from N32.916tn in December 2020

It said the country’s external debt however reduced due to the redemption by Nigeria of the $500m Eurobond in January.

Total public debt stock, which comprises the debt stock of the Federal Government of Nigeria, 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory, stood at N33.107tn or $87.239bn.

The debt stock also includes promissory notes in the sum of N940.22bn issued to settle the inherited arrears of the FGN to state governments, oil marketing companies, exporters and local contractors.

“Compared to the total public debt stock of N32.92tn as at December 31, 2020, the increase in the debt stock was marginal at 0.58 per cent,” the debt office said.

A further analysis of the public debt stock showed that the domestic debt stock grew by 2.11 per cent from N20.21tn in December 2020 to N20.637tn as of the end of March 31, 2021.

The FGN’s share of the domestic debt includes FGN bonds, Sukuk and green bonds used to finance infrastructure and other capital projects as well as the N940.22bn promissory notes, according to the DMO.

“External debt stock declined from $33.348bn as at December 31, 2020 to $32.86bn due to the redemption by Nigeria of the $500m Eurobond in January 2021,” it said.

The DMO had said in January that the 6.75 per cent $500m 2021 Eurobond, which was issued in January 2011, was Nigeria’s first foray into the international capital market.

It said the issuance of the Eurobond enabled Nigeria to diversify its sources of funding as it successfully raised a total of $10.67bn from the market thereafter to finance the implementation of the federal budgets.

The debt office said this also contributed to the country’s external reserves.

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