By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria’s external debt stock rose by 148 percent in almost four years of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, data from the Debt Management Office (DMO) showed.
The external debt soared to $25.61 billion as at March 31, 2019 from $10.32 billion as at June 30, 2015, according to the DMO, with Eurobonds worth $10.87 billion accounting for the largest chunk of the external debt, as it rose by 625 percent from $1.5 billion as at June 30, 2015.
The nation’s debt owed to the World Bank also rose to $8.90 billion from $6.19 billion in the period under review.
China, through its Export-Import Bank of China, is the third biggest lender to Nigeria with a loan of $2.55 billion as of March 31, 2019, up from $1.39 billion as of June 30, 2015.
Other lenders are African Development Bank ($1.25 billion), African Development Fund ($834.18 million), Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa ($5.88 million), Export Development Fund ($59.15 million), Islamic Development Bank (15.51 million) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development ($176.19 million).
Bilateral debts from France (Agence Française de Dévelopement), Japan (Japan International Cooperation Agency), India Exim Banking of India and Germany (KfW) stood at $366.07 million, $74.63 million, $26.46 million and $171.79 million, respectively.
Last month, the agency primarily responsible for coordinating the nation’s debt management said that the Federal Government would borrow $2.7 billion from foreign sources this year, adding that it planned to first access cheaper funding from multilateral and bilateral lenders while any balance would be raised from commercial sources, which might include securities issuance such as Eurobonds in the international capital market.
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