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Nigeria’s public debt soars to N121 trillion in March

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Nigeria’s public debt soars to N121 trillion in March

The Debt Management Office (DMO) says  Nigeria’s total public debt has soared to a staggering N121.67 trillion (equivalent to $91.46 billion) as of March.

In a statement released on Friday in Abuja, the Director-General of the DMO, Patience Oniha, disclosed that this debt encompasses the combined external and domestic debts of the Federal Government, the 36 state governments, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Oniha highlighted that as of March, the total domestic debt stood at N65.65 trillion ($46.29 billion) and the external debt amounted to N56.02 trillion ($42.12 billion).

Comparing this to the previous total debt stock in December 2023, which was N97.34 trillion (equivalent to $108.23 billion), the significant increase in debt has garnered attention and raised concerns.

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She said that the increase in the total debt stock was informed by growth in the domestic component of the debt to bridge deficit in the 2024 budget, and instability in the foreign exchange market during the first quarter.

“Excluding Naira exchange rate movements in the first quarter of 2024, only the domestic debt component of the total debt stock grew from N59.12 trillion on Dec. 31, 2023 to N65.75 trillion on March 31.

“The increase was from new borrowing to part-finance the 2024 budget deficit and securitisation of a portion of the N7 3 trillion Ways and Means advances at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” she said.

She also added that improvement in government revenue would go a long way in ensuring debt sustainability, while borrowing, as provided in the 2024 budget would continue.

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