Economy and Business

Nigeria’s Public Debt Hits N121.67tn, Up by N24.33tn in Three Months

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has revealed that Nigeria’s total public debt has skyrocketed to N121.67 trillion, signifying an increase of N24.33 trillion or 24.99% within a mere three months.

This increase brings the country’s public debt from N97.34 trillion as of December 2023 to the current figure of N121.67 trillion.

According to the DMO’s report, the total public debt encompasses the combined domestic and external debts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the thirty-six state governments, and the Federal Capital Territory.

As of March 31, 2024, the breakdown of the debt reveals that the domestic debt component stands at N65.65 trillion, while the external debt component amounts to N56.02 trillion.

The increase in public debt is largely attributed to naira devaluation, which has resulted in a reduction of $16.77 billion or 18.34% in dollar terms.

Excluding the impact of naira exchange rate movements in the first quarter of 2024, the domestic debt has seen a notable increase of N6.53 trillion or 11.05% due to new borrowing to part-finance the 2024 Budget deficit and the securitization of a portion of the N7.3 trillion Ways and Means Advances at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The government’s borrowing from the World Bank has also contributed to the rising public debt. According to reports, the government has secured loans totalling $4.95 billion from the World Bank over the past 12 months, sparking concerns about the escalating costs of servicing external debt. Furthermore, the government is anticipating fresh loan approval worth $4.4 billion from the World Bank and the Africa Development Bank over the next year.

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