Nigeria’s total debt rose to $73.1 billion by H1’18

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    ABUJA, Aug 14- Nigeria’s national debt stood at 22.37 trillion naira ($73.1 billion) at the end of June 2018, up 3 percent from six months earlier, director-general of the Debt Management Office Patience Oniha told a news briefing on Tuesday.

    Oniha said debt rose after the office issued a $2.5 billion Eurobond in February. Nigeria’s debt stood at 21.68 trillion naira at end of December 2017.

    Nigeria’s debt mix is inching towards a target of 40 percent foreign and 60 percent domestic, Oniha said, adding that the government was planning to sell 850 billion naira ($2.8 billion) of debt offshore this year.

    Parliament needs to approve the new borrowing.

    Nigeria, with Africa’s largest economy, is trying to increase its ratio of foreign, dollar-serviced debt to local debt, in a bid to lower costs.

    The government paid off about 840 billion naira worth of local treasury bills in the first half of 2018 instead of rolling it over as it has done in the past, reducing the interest it paid to raise domestic debt, Oniha said.

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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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