Nigeria Spends N254bn On Debt Servicing in 90 Days

The Debt Management Office yesterday reported that Nigeria spent a total sum of N254 billion to service the country's debt obligations in just three months. Of these figures, FG paid N196.1 billion for the actual debt service for October 2019, N65billion in November 2019 and N12 billion in December of the same year.

The DMO report also indicated that the country spent a total of N1.6 trillion on domestic debt service from January to December, 2019, with the total domestic debt stock standing at N14.3 trillion at the end of the year while external debt stock was $27,676.14 million (N10.4billion)

Before the Coronavirus crisis, Nigeria was set to receive a loan of $22.7billion (N6.923trillion) following the approval of the National Assembly earlier this month which would have brought the country's debt profile to N33.78 trillion.

Available official estimates indicated that Federal Government spent about N8 trillion on servicing of both domestic and foreign debts in the last five years.

Data analysed from 2015 to 2019 showed that the amount committed to debt servicing rose with each successive year's budget with 2015 recording N943bn on debt service. Debt servicing gulped N1.36 trillion in 2016, N1.66trn in 2017, N2.23trn in 2018, and N2.14trn last year. Meanwhile, the DMO in a notice published on its website stated that the FGN Savings Bond Offer for the month of April 2020, which was scheduled for April 6 - 10, 2020, had been suspended.

The Office attributed the suspension to the restrictions of movement in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States as announced by the president to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

It stated: "The DMO wishes to assure the general public that the FGN Savings Bond Offers will resume when the conditions change. It should be noted that the suspension of the April 2020 Offer will not affect Coupon Payments due to investors for already issued FGN Securities as arrangements have been made to ensure that all Coupon Payments for and redemptions of FGN Securities are made as and when due to investors' designated accounts."

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