From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Debt Management Office (DMO) on Wednesday released Nigeria’s public debt stock as at March 31, 2021, which stands at N33.107 trillion or $87.239 billion. It swelled from N32.916 trillion as at December 31, 2020.
It increase infers that between January 1 this year till date, an additional N191 billion (0.58%) has been added to Nigeria’s total debt stock.
The debt comprises the Federal Government, 36 State Governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)
According to the DMO, the debt stock also includes promissory notes of N940.220 billion issued to settle the inherited arrears of the Federal Government to State Governments, oil marketing companies, exporters and local contractors.
The DMO, while comparing the total public debt stock of N32.916 trillion as at December 31, 2020 described the increase as marginal.
Further analysis of the public debt stock shows that the increase was in the domestic debt which grew by 2.11% from N20.21 trillion in December 2020 to N20.637 trillion as at March 31, 2021.
“The FGN’s share of the Domestic Debt includes FGN Bonds, Sukuk and Green Bonds used to finance infrastructure and other capital projects as well as the N940.220 billion promissory notes.
“External debt stock declined from $33.348 billion as at December 31, 2020 to $32.86 billion due to the redemption by Nigeria of the $500 million Eurobond in January 2021”, the DMO explained.
Tongues are already wagging as to Nigeria’s ballooning debt and possibility of repayment.
The Government insists that the debts are concessionary with long maturity periods.
In 2015, Nigeria’s debt was N12.6 trillion. It rose to N17.4 trillion in 2016 and then N21.7 trillion in 2017.
In 2018, the country’s debt had climbed to N24.4 trillion. It ballooned to N27.1 in 2019 and N32.915 trillion as at December 31 last year.
By March 31 this year, it moved up to N33.107 trillion.