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Nigeria’s public debt grows to N26.215trillion

Ms Patience Oniha, Director-General, Debt Management Office

New Figures Indicate About N5Trillion Accretion In 2019 Alone
• DMO Defends Growth, Says Borrowing Pulled Nigeria Out Of Recession In 2017
• Blames Huge Borrowings On Revenue Challenge, Fragile Growth
• Says Nigeria Has More Room For Borrowing

From the N12.118trillion level of indebtedness at takeover by June 2015, the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has grown Nigeria’s public debt to a new height of N26.215trillion as at the end September last year, the country’s debt agency, the Debt Management Office (DMO) announced yesterday.

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The new level represents a growth of over N14trillion of additional borrowings by the Federal and State Governments in the country within the span of five years of the current administration in Nigeria. The new debt stock represents the country’s almost thee years fiscal spending, going by this year’s fiscal plan.

Presenting the new figures in Abuja, the Director General of the DMO, Ms. Patience Oniha, attributed the growing trend in borrowing by the country to a bouquet of reasons, including revenue generation challenge; fragile nature of the Nigerian economy; lack of utilisation of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) models in project delivery in the country, leading to huge deficit budgets and necessitating borrowings and the lack of diversification of the Nigerian economy, which is still dependent on crude oil earnings, with its price and supply shocks.

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The new public debt figure indicates that between September 2018 and same time last year, the sum of N4trillion was contracted in new debt obligations, raising the stock from N22.428trillion to the current N26.215trillion.

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Oniha, while defending the growing nature of the Nigerian debt stock, explained that much of the proceeds of the borrowing had been invested in critical projects across the country, including the Lagos-Kano Rail line, the Mambila Power projects, among several roads.

 

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