Nigeria’s total public debt hits N25.7trn

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Nigeria’s total public debt increased by to N25.7 trillion as at the end of June 2019 from N22.38 trillion as of June 2018, the Debt Management Office (DMO) said yesterday.

This means that the country’s debt increased by N3.32 trilion in one year.

The debt stock, the DMO said, is made up of N8.32 trillion ($27.16bn) external debt and N17.38 trillion borrowed domestically.

According to latest data posted on the DMO website, the N25.7 trillion debt comprise N20.42 trillion owed by the Federal Government owed as of June 30, 2019, while the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory had a total debt portfolio of N5.28 trillion.

It would be recalled that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in January this year warned Nigeria and other highly indebted countries against “a legacy of excessive debt”

Also during its meeting last month, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) noted that the rising public debt was one of the factors hindering the nation’s growth prospects.

However, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said in August this year that the country did not have a debt problem, but faced the challenge of generating sufficient revenue.

She said: “There is a lot of insensitivity around the level of our debt. I want to restate that our debt is not too high — what we have is a revenue problem. Our debt is still very much within a reasonable fiscal limit. In fact, among our comparative countries, we are the least in terms of borrowing.”

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