Nigeria’s total public debt had a 0.58 per cent marginal increase from N32.916 trillion as of December 31, 2020 to N33.1 trillion ($87.239 billion by March 31, 2021, latest figures from the Debt Management Office (DMO) have revealed.

The total public debt comprises the debt stock of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Lagos State led other states with a total debt of N507.377 billion; followed by Rivers, N266.936 billion; Akwa Ibom, N232 billion; and Delta, N213.982 billion.

As of December 31, 2020, the three states were also the most indebted in the country.

The breakdown shows that the external debt component of the aggregate debt of $87.239 billion stood at $32,859 billion while the domestic component is $54,380 billion.

The external debt is made up of $17,830.05 billion owed to multilateral creditors, including the World Bank Group, African Development Bank Group, European Development Fund, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, Islamic Development Bank, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Bilateral debts accounted for $4.182 billion while commercial debts stood at $10.388 billion, comprising Eurobonds and Diaspora Bond.

FGN’s domestic debt component during the review period stood at N16.513 trillion (N16,513,929,181,182.00).

This includes Nigerian Treasury Bill (NTB), Nigerian Treasury Bonds, FGN Savings Bond, FGN Sukuk, Green Bond and Promissory Notes.

The 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) accounted for N4.122 trillion (N4,122,951,837,267.70) of the total domestic debt.

The DMO explained: “The debt stock also includes Promissory Notes in the sum of N940.220 billion issued to settle the inherited arrears of the FGN to state governments, oil marketing companies, exporters and local contractors.

But when compared to the total public debt stock of N32.916 trillion as of December 31, 2020, the increase in the debt stock was marginal at 0.58 per cent.

“Further analysis of the public debt stock showed that the increase was in the domestic debt stock which grew by 2.11 per cent from N20.21 trillion in December 2020 to N20.637 trillion as at March 31, 2021.

“The FGN’s share of the domestic debt includes FGN Bonds, Sukuk and Green Bonds used to finance infrastructure and other capital projects as well as the N940.220 billion Promissory Notes.

“External debt stock declined from USD33.348 billion as at December 31, 2020, to USD32.86 billion due to the redemption by Nigeria of the USD500 million Eurobond in January 2021.

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