Public debt of Nigeria hits ₦49.95 trillion (108.30 billion dollars)

President Tinubu

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has reported that Nigeria's total public debt stood at N49.95 trillion (equivalent to 108.30 billion dollars) as of March.

In a statement obtained from the official website of the DMO on Sunday, it was revealed that the total debt stock includes both external and domestic debts owed by the Federal Government, the 36 states, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Nigeria's total debt for the previous period, as of December 21, 2022, amounted to N46.25 trillion (equivalent to 103 billion dollars). 

The total debt stock mentioned earlier does not include the Federal Government's N22.719 trillion Ways and Means Advances from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 

However, the National Assembly approved the securitization of these advances in May, and as per the Debt Management Office (DMO), they will be included in the Federal Government's debt stock starting from June.

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

This analysis is a tool developed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for implementing best practices in public debt management. 

The DMO has adopted and implemented this tool over the years, conducting it as an annual exercise with the involvement of key Federal Government agencies.

These agencies include the CBN, Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.

According to Patience Oniha, the Director-General of the DMO, the recent Debt Sustainability Analysis reports have underscored the importance of generating more revenue to ensure the sustainability of public debt. 

Ms. Oniha also highlighted that the 2022 DSA report, which has been recently released, emphasizes the government's need to boost its revenue sources.

She commended certain policies implemented by the present administration, recognizing their potential to enhance debt sustainability.

Ms Oniha said, “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.”

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