25 Nigerian States Spend N149.8 Billion on Debt Servicing in Q1 2024

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A recent review of budget performance reports reveals that 25 Nigerian states collectively spent N149.8 billion on debt servicing during the first quarter of 2024.

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Debt servicing charges stem from costs incurred by states due to loans. Increased borrowing has led to higher debt servicing expenses.

According to the review by SaharaReporters, Adamawa spent N7 billion on debt servicing, Bayelsa N8.1 billion, and Gombe N6.8 billion. Cross River allocated N6.9 billion, while Kaduna’s expenditure was the highest at N16 billion.

Other notable figures include Katsina at N4.2 billion, Oyo at N9.5 billion, Osun at N3.8 billion, Ekiti at N3.7 billion, Lagos at N27.3 billion, and Kwara at N2.3 billion. Kogi spent N6.9 billion, Nasarawa N1.2 billion, Taraba N7.2 billion, Bauchi N7.6 billion, and Borno N3.6 billion.

Jigawa reported a debt servicing figure of N882 million, Sokoto N3.5 billion, Zamfara N1.4 billion, Kebbi N1.124 billion, and Akwa Ibom N9.7 billion. Anambra’s expenditure was N1 billion, Abia N563 million, Enugu N1.8 billion, and Ebonyi N2.5 billion.

Interestingly, Kano and Delta did not spend any funds on debt servicing in the first quarter of 2024.

SaharaReporters also analyzed expenditure on critical sectors in select states, revealing that more was spent on debt servicing than on essential services. In Kaduna, for example, while N16 billion was spent on debt servicing, only N1.2 billion was allocated for internal security, N14 billion for public works and infrastructure, and N1.3 billion for urban development and housing. Education sector spending stood at N10.9 billion.

In Katsina, the Ministry of Water Resources received N300 million compared to N4.2 billion for debt servicing. Basic and secondary education expenditure was N3.3 billion, and health received N2.5 billion.

Cross River spent N6.9 billion on debt servicing but only N652 million on works and N52 million on water resources. Similarly, Gombe allocated N6.8 billion to debt servicing but just N26 million to the ministry for science, technology, and innovation, and N1.6 billion to the ministry for water resources, environment, and forest resources.

With millions living in poverty, there is growing concern over the prioritization of debt servicing by Nigerian states. Experts warn that reliance on loans could hinder development and divert essential funds away from critical sectors.

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