From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Debt Management Office DMO on Thursday revealed that Nigeria’s total debt as at the third quarter of this year stands at N32.223 trillion or $84.574 billion.
The DMO, which disclosed the total public debt stock in a statement explained that the profile is made up of the domestic and external debt stocks of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The breakdown of the public debt stock showed that 37.82% was external, while the balance of 62.18% was domestic.
Compared to the total public debt stock of N31.009 trillion as at June 30, 2020, the debt stock in the third quarter 2020 increased by N1.214 trillion or 3.91%.
“The FGN, State Governments and the FCT all recorded increases in their debt stock due to borrowings to enable them respond appropriately to the COVID-19 pandemic and to meet revenue shortfalls.
“Issuance of promissory notes by the FGN to settle inherited liabilities have also contributed to the growth in the public debt Stock since the year 2018 when they were first issued. While N20.136 billion of promissory notes were issued in Q3, 2020, as at September 30, 2020, the promissory notes outstanding, which are all included in the domestic debt stock, stood at N971.878 billion.
Reacting, economic experts said the increased debt was expected as the economy was horribly devastated by the COVID-19 pestilence, leaving the government with no option but to borrow.