The Debt Management Office (DMO) on Wednesday released Nigeria’s total debt figure as at first quarter of 2019, which now stands at N24.947 trillion ($ 81.274 billion) representing a 2.3 per cent increase from N24.387 trillion it was by December 31, 2018.
DMO in a statement said the public debt stock encompasses federal, the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. It said: “The Debt Management Office in its practice of publishing the Public Debt Data comprising the Domestic and External Debts of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has released the Total Public Debt Data as at March 31, 2019. At N24.947 Trillion (US$ 81.274 Billion) as at March 31, 2019, the Total Public Debt grew marginally by 2.30% when compared to the figure of N24.387 trillion (US$ 79.437 Billion) as at December 31, 2018”, it said.
According to the agency, the increase of N560.009 billion in the total public debt in first quarter of 2019, was accounted for largely by domestic debt which grew by N458.363 billion. “Increases were recorded in the Domestic Debt Stock of the FGN, States and the FCT. External Debt also increased by N101.646 billion during the same period. “In relation to the Debt Management Strategy, the ratio of domestic to external debt stood at 68.49% to 31.51% at the end of March 2019. The Total public debt to GDP ratio was 19.03% which is within the 25% debt limit imposed by the government.
Nigeria’s debt has been on steady rise for some years. In 2014, Nigeria’s debt was N11.2 trillion, while it grew to N12.12 trillion in 2015. In 2016, the debt climbed to N17.5 trillion and in 2017, it stood at N21.7 trillion.
Nigeria’s debt profile rose by N12.27 trillion between June 2015 and December 31, 2018. The debt from N12.12 trillion as of June 30, 2015 when the Buhari administration came onboard, to N24.947 trillion as first quarter of this year means that within a period of four years (48 months), the country’s debt profile rose by 12.827 trillion. This reflects 101.9 per cent increase in the country’s debt profile within the period.