Home Economy Nigeria’s Debt Rise By 7% To N12trn

Nigeria’s Debt Rise By 7% To N12trn

Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala

Nigeria’s total debt stock has continued to rise standing at N12.062 trillion or $63.50 billion as at March 31, 2015 according to latest data from the Debt Management Office (DMO).

This is seven per sent rise above the N11.24 trillion or $67.72 billion level of the country’s total debt as at December 31, 2014. The DMO had used the latest exchange rate of N197 to the dollar in calculating the debt stock for March 31, 2015 compared to N155 to the dollar which was used in calculating the debt stock as at December 31, 2014, resulting in a lower dollar figure despite the rise in debt figure in local currency.

External debt rose by 14 per cent to N1.86 trillion or $9.46 billion by the end of the first quarter of 2015 compared to N1.63 trillion or $9.7 billion which it was at the end of 2014. Domestic debt which consisted of mainly Federal Government Bonds stood at N8.50 trillion or $43.18 billion, 7.5 per cent higher than N7.9 trillion ($47.04 billion ) which it was last year December.

FGN Bonds accounted for 63.13 per cent of the total domestic debt standing at N5.37 trillion while N2.865 trillion or 33.68 per cent was held in Nigerian Treasury Bills. N271.22 billion or 3.19 per cent of the domestiC debt was held in Nigerina Treasury Bonds.

According to the DMO, 34 states and the FCT and estimated stock for Bayelsa state

as at December 2013 had total domestic debt of N1.69 trillion or $10.85 billion compared to N1.7 trillion or $10.9 billion which had estimated debt stock for both Bayelsa and Ekiti states.

The total external debt of N1.864 trillion was owed to the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Exim Bank of China and French Development Agency (AFD) as well as the Eurobond.

Nigeria’s multilateral debt to the World Bank and AfDB at the end of the first quarter of 2915 stood lower due to the exchange rate of N197 to the dollar which was used to compute the debt as at March 2015, at $6.53 billion accounting for 69 percent of the total external debt compared to $6.7 billion which was owed as at December 31, 2014.
Bilateral debt owed to the Exim Bank of China and AFD also accounted for 15 per cent of the external debt standing at $1.425 billion, while Nigeria’s Eurobonds stood at $1.5 billion.

The federal government plans to use 22 per cent of the 2015 budget amounting to N943 billion to service debt compared to N712 billion which budgeted for debt servicing last year.

Meanwhile, external reserves which had plummeted to $29.512 billion as at April 29, 2015 rose slightly by 0.56 per cent to $29.677 billion even as the price of Nigeria’s major foreign exchange and income generator, Bonny Light crude dropped to $65.07 per barrel at the end of the week compared to $65.32 per barrel which it sold at the beginning of the last week.

To curb the declining level of the reserves, the CBN had cancelled its twice weekly retail Dutch auction as part of measures to curtail the excesses in the foreign exchange market but will also reduce pressure on the naira.

The value of the naira at the interbank market had remained at N197 to the dollar while at the parallel market the United States currency sold at N222 to the dollar.

At the interbank market, lending rates closed higher at the end of the week with overnight rate rising to 9.2917 per cent from 9.1 per cent. One-month, 3-month and 6-month monies also rose to 13.1585, 14.4175 and 15.7848 per cents at the end of the week respectively up from 12.3428, 13.3458 and 14.7194 per cents which it was at the beginning of last week.



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