Nigeria’s total public debt hit $74.28 billion as forex earnings climbs to $47.62 billion

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Nigeria’s total public debt rose marginally by 4.52% to $74.28 billion (N22.71 trillion) as at March 31, 2018.

The debt management office said the increase was accounted for largely by the increase in the domestic debts of the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as well as the $2.5 billion Eurobond issued in February 2018.

The nation’s forex earnings climbed to $47.62 billion.

Nigeria’s total public debt rose slightly to $74.28 billion (N22.71 trillion) as at March 31, 2018, presenting an increase of 4.52% when compared to the figure as at December 31, 2017.

The Q1 2018 increase was accounted for largely by the increase in the domestic debts of the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as well as the $2.5 billion Eurobond issued in February 2018 by the federal government whose proceeds were still being deployed to redeem maturing domestic debt.

Nigeria’s debt management office (DMO) made this known in its first quarter 2018 public debt data released on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Further analysis by DMO

– The DMO said a total of N643.6 billion was spent on servicing the nation’s domestic debt within the period.

– It said N239.8 billion was spent on domestic debt servicing in January, N144 billion in February and N259.7 billion in March 2018.

– N223.4 billion was an interest accruing on Nigeria Treasury Bills/Bonds (NTBs), while N411.7 billion was interest on federal government bonds.

– Interest on the federal government of Nigeria savings bond was N241.8 million while Sukuk bonds stood at N8.167 billion.

– A sum of N279.6 billion of NTBs was redeemed in Q1 2018.

The debt management office sad the debt figures showed that the implementation of the debt management strategy, which entails an increase in the external debt stock through new external borrowing and the substitution of high cost domestic debt with low cost external debt, is achieving the desired results in several areas.

As at December 2017, the country’s debt stood at $70.92 billion, several months after the largest economy in Africa emerged from its worst recession in over 20 years.

Also In April 2018, Christine Lagarde, the IMF Managing Director, opined that Global debt stood at $164 trillion which were 25% of global GDP. She lamented that the rising debt levels presented a risk to low-income countries.

ALSO READ: At N21.7 trillion, Nigeria’s finance minister says debt level under control
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Lagarde said such countries may face hardship and be unable to repay these debts if they do not look for alternative measures to borrowing but Nigeria’s finance minister, Kemi Adeosun dismissed the insinuation, saying Nigeria is not among low-income countries.

Patience Oniha, head of the DMO, had also claimed that the sale of Eurobond by Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government boosted foreign reserve earnings in the country.

Last week, the nation’s forex earning climbed to $47.62 billion, according to the latest Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) data seen by Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa after losing about $170 million in 7 days in the first week of June 2018.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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