From Uche Usim, Abuja and Chinwendu Obienyi
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has disclosed that Nigeria’s public debt, comprising domestic and external obligations of the Federal Government, the 36 State Governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has risen to N35.465 trillion as of June 30.
The Director General of the Debt Management Office, Ms. Patience Oniha, made the disclosure in a public debt presentation Wednesday evening.
According to her, Nigeria’s total Public Debt Stock was N33.107 trillion or $87.239 billion, as of March 31, 2021 but rose to N35.465 trillion by end of June.
This shows a N2.358 trillion rise in the total debt stock from the end of the first quarter of the year to the end of second quarter.
A breakdown of the public debt figure in the period under review indicated that that external debt stood at N13. 711 trillion, representing 38. 66 per cent of the total debt stock; while domestic debt was N21.754 trillion, representing 61. 34 per cent of the total debt obligations.
The Federal Government accounted for N11. 828 trillion of the external debt and N17. 632 trillion of the domestic debt, while States and FCT external debt stood at N1.883 trillion, with domestic debt stock at N4. 122 trillion.
A breakdown of the external debt showed that the bulk of it was owed to multilaterals (World Bank Group and the African Development Bank Group) which accounted for 54.88 per cent.
The next highest category was the Commercial debt (Eurobonds and Diaspora bond) which accounted for 31.88 per cent; while bilateral (China, France, Japan, India and Germany ) stood at 12. 70 per cent and Promissory Notes 0. 54 per cent.
On the foreign exchange implications for debt service, especially with the naira depreciation in recent times, the DMO boss said “we have initiated actions towards managing that risk.”
Oniha explained that the nation had several benefits from going to source funds which included showcasing Nigeria in a positive light in the international financial markets where large pools of capital are available.
In addition, she said “The sovereign Eurobonds serve as a benchmark against which several local banks have issued Eurobonds. So far, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, UBA, FBN, Ecobank Nigeria and Fidelity Bank have issued Eurobond. This window opened by the sovereign bond enabled Nigerian banks to raise Tier 2 Capital to meet regulatory requirements and enhanced their capacity to lend to, and, support local borrowers.