Nigeria’s Total Debt Jumps to N72.7trn

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NIGERIA road sign

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has revealed Nigeria’s total debt stock is now N72.7 trillion after the addition of the securitised Ways and Means of Advances of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

As of March 2023, the debt office said the country’s total public debt stock was N49.95 trillion ($108.30 billion), higher than the N46.25 trillion ($103 billion) on December 31, 2022, by N3 trillion.

According to a statement obtained from the DMO official website, the total debt stock comprises the external and domestic debts of the federal government, the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to the DMO, the federal government’s N22.719 trillion loans from the apex bank, which the National Assembly in May 2023 approved its securitisation, will be included in the debt stock this month.

Meanwhile, the DMO recently released the Market Access Country-Debt Sustainability Analysis (MAC-DSA) to promote transparency.

The MAC-DSA is a World Bank/IMF tool for best practices in public debt management, which the DMO adopted and has implemented over the years.

According to the DMO, it is an annual exercise anchored by it, with the participation of key Federal Government agencies.

It listed such agencies include the CBN, Budget Office of the Federation and Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF).

Others are the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

According to Ms Patience Oniha, the Director-General of the DMO, the recent DSA reports highlighted the need for more revenues to keep the public debt sustainable.

Ms Oniha said that the recently released DSA report for 2022 also emphasised the need for the government to grow revenues.

She commended some of the recent policies of the present administration as capable of enhancing debt sustainability.

“Policies like the removal of subsidies to manage expenditure and the focus on revenue through the appointment of a Special Adviser to the President on Revenue were positive steps for public debt sustainability,” Ms Oniha said.

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