Nigeria worries as sovereign debt stock hit N42.84 trillion, expert seeks solutions to economic challenges

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Nigeria’s sovereign debt stock has hit N42.84 trillion according to figures released by the Debt Management Office (DMO) on Monday.

This comes as the Federal Government battles to boost revenue generation amid strangulating economic circumstances.

The debt figure shows that the nation’s debt swelled from N41.60 trillion in March 2022 to N42.84 trillion representing an increase of N1.24 trillion in three months.

“The Total Public Debt Stock, representing the Domestic and External Debt Stocks of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the 36 State Governments and the Federal Capital Territory, was N42.84tn ($103.31bn) as of June 30, 2022. The comparative figures for March 30, 2022, was N41.60tn ($100.07bn)”, the agency said in the statement.

The DMO further noted that external debt remained the same at N16.61tn ($40.06bn) from Q1 to Q2 2022, adding that 58 per cent of external debts were concessional and semi-concessional loans from multilateral lenders such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Afrexim and African Development Bank and bilateral lenders including Germany, China, Japan, India and France.

It also explained that domestic debt rose to N26.23tn ($63.24bn) due to new borrowings by the government to part-finance the deficit in 2022 Appropriation {Repeal and Enactment) Act, as well as new borrowings by State Governments and the FCT.

The DMO further said that the Total Public Debt to GDP as of June 30, 2022, was 23.06 per cent compared to the ratio of 23.27 per cent as of March 36, 2022, adding that the Debt Service-to-Revenue Ratio remained high.

Experts have continually called on the government to deal with terrorism, banditry and other anti-developmental challenges so that local production can peak and exports increased to grow foreign exchange earnings.