15 November 2017

Nigeria: Govt's Debts Profile Hits N20 Trillion in Third Quarter

The nation's debt profile has again increased by about N740 billion to N20.37 trillion, nearly three times the national budget for 2017.Factoring the increased debt deals, the Federal Government, had last week in its proposed 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly, estimated a N2.01 trillion debt service bill next year.

The cost of the borrowed funds is only about N400 billion short of the proposed capital vote for 2018 at N2.43 trillion and 30.4 per cent of the total expected earnings of the Federal Government put at N6.61 trillion in 2018.

The development now confirms the need for government to increase its revenue sources and ensure that all borrowed funds are accounted in the form of regenerative projects as advised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

By the provisional record of the Debt Management Office (DMO), the debt stock rose from N19.63 trillion ($64.19 billion) as at June 30, 2017 to N20.37 trillion ($66.63) as at September 30, 2017.

This shows an increase of N740billion in three months, arising from new deals in efforts to overcome the left over of 2016 and current 2017 budgets' deficits.

The development also shows that the gains of Nigeria exiting the Paris Club and the Brettons Wood institutions debt under the former President Olusegun Obasanjo's administration have been eroded and consequently, the money needed for development projects are directed towards payment of debts.

Of the debt package, the Federal Government is accountable for N17.19 trillion ($56.22 billion), while states cumulatively have N3.18 trillion ($10.4 billion) in domestic deals.

The external components of the debt for both federal and states amounted to N4.69 trillion ($15.35 billion), while domestic deals contracted by Federal government is put at N12.49 trillion ($40.87 billion).Hit by dwindling oil revenues, the government has resorted to borrowing to finance its numerous projects and meet other demands

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