Nigeria’s Public Debt Rises to N22.7 Trillion in Q1

Enterprise Television-Nigeria’s Public Debt Rises to N22.7 Trillion in Q1

Data from the Debt Management Office on Wednesday revealed that Nigeria’s total public debt increased by 4.52 per cent in the first three months of the year.

The public debt increased from N21.73 trillion ($71bn) in December 2017 to N22.71 trillion ($74.28bn) at the end of the first quarter of 2018.

The DMO said in a circular on Wednesday that the increase was largely accounted for by the increase in the domestic debts of states, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The report added that the $2.5 billion Eurobond issued in February 2018, with its proceeds still being deployed to redeem maturing domestic debt, was also responsible for the increase in the total public debt.

The DMO said, “The debt figures show that the implementation of the debt management strategy, which entails an increase in the external debt stock through new external borrowing and the substitution of high-cost domestic debt with low-cost external debt, is achieving the desired results in several areas.

“Some of these areas are: the share of the external debt stock in the total public debt, which rose to 30 per cent as of March 31, 2018, compared to 17 per cent in 2015, 20 per cent in 2016 and 27 per cent in 2017; a decline in market interest rates from 13 to 14 per cent per annum in December 2017, to 11 to 13 per cent per annum in the first quarter of 2018 due to the redemption of N279.67b billion of Nigerian Treasury Bills using some of the proceeds of the $2.5bn Eurobond issued in February 2018.”

According to the DMO, the government is actively enabling the private sector through the instrumentality of financial markets to play a leading role in the economy.

It added that while the redemption of NTBs made more funds available to banks for lending to the private sector, the decline in interest rates implied lower cost of borrowing for the private sector.

Data from the DMO also showed that the public debt was made up of N12.6 trillion of domestic debt (owed by the Federal Government), N3.384tn of domestic debt (owed by states and the FCT), and $22.07b billion (N6.746 trillion) of external debt.

The statement said N279.7 billion of NTBs was redeemed from January to March 2018.

The Central Bank of Nigeria in the main time has made available the sum of $210 million to meet customers’ requests in various segments of the foreign exchange market.

The CBN in a statement on Wednesday said that $100m million was offered to authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises segment got boosted with the sum of $55m.

According to the CBN, customers needing forex for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and basic travel allowance, among others, were also allocated the sum of $55m.


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