Nigeria: Govt Spends N1.47trn Servicing Domestic Debt

19 March 2018

With federal government's domestic debt pegged at N12.589 trillion as at December 2017, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has said that a total of N1.476 trillion was spent in servicing the domestic obligations of the country between January and December last year.

DMO said interest payment on federal government of Nigeria (FGN) Bonds was the highest accounting for 66.5 per cent of the total debt service.

Interest payment on FGN Bonds had cost the country N982.65 billion in 2017.

Data released by the DMO showed that N445.13 billion was spent on paying interest on treasury bills last year, while N441.99 million was spent on paying interest on the FGN Savings Bond that was launched last year to bring in small-scale retail investors into the bond market.

The FGN Bond is the major part of the federal government domestic obligation accounting for 69.23 per cent of the N12.589 trillion domestic debt at N8.715 trillion.

It is followed by treasury bills, which accounts for 28.4 per cent of the debt structure at N3.579 trillion.

The DMO had earlier in the year denied reports that the country spends up to 60 per cent of its revenue on debt financing, saying only Nigeria spends 34 per cent of its revenues on debt servicing.

In a clarification on the country's debt status titled, 'Nigeria's Public Debt - Some Recurring Issues,' the DMO contradicted reports that the country was spending as much as 60 to 70 per cent of its revenues on debt servicing.

According to the agency, as of June 2017, Nigeria's spending on debt servicing stood at 34.02 per cent of revenue, up from 33.94 per cent recorded as of December 31, 2016. Nigeria's revenue, according to the 2017 budget, was N5.08 trillion.

The country is expecting to spend N2.014 trillion on debt servicing in 2018, from its N8.612 trillion total budget with expected revenue of N6.067 trillion.

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