Nigeria Owes Eurobond, World Bank, Others U.S.$31.985 Billion

5 January 2021

At least 67 per cent of the $31.985 billion (N12.193 trillion) outstanding external debt of Nigeria is for loans taken as Eurobond, a commercial loan, and from the International Development Association (IDA) as of September 2020.

According to records released by the Debt Management Office (DMO) recently for September 2020, loans from these two sources accounted for $21.201bn (N8.082tr) of the $31.985bn external debt.

Nigeria has an outstanding $10.868bn (N4.413tr) to pay for the Eurobond issued at commercial rate, while the country will repay $10.332m (N3.939tr) for the IDA loan, the breakdown showed.

Eurobond is issued by the European Central Bank (ECB) for the European Union and the European member countries on the international markets to generate funds. However, the IDA is a branch of the World Bank Group offering long-term development funding.

The balance of $10.783bn (N4.111tr) loan is to be paid to 15 other international lenders.

An analysis of other debts indicates that Nigeria owes the International Monetary Fund (IMF) $3.454bn (N1.317tr).

Still under the World Bank Group, there is an outstanding debt of $409,000 (N156bn) to be paid to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

Three entities of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group expect Nigeria to repay $2.247bn (N856.6bn) debt: AfDB will get $1.315bn (N501.3bn), Africa Growing Together Fund $0.14 (N53.4m) as outstanding; while African Development Fund (ADF) has $932,000 (355.3bn).

Also, Nigeria will pay $295,003 (N112.5bn) to four other international lenders. These are Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa has $5,000.88 (N1.91bn); European Development Fund $53,000.92 (N20.2bn); Islamic Development Bank $30,000.66 (N11.4bn); while the International Fund for Agricultural Development will get $207,000.66 (N78.91bn).

The country also took $4.075m (N1.553tr) bilateral (country to country) loans from five countries with the highest from China. This is 12.74 per cent of the $32bn external debt of Nigeria.

According to the breakdown, $3.264m (N1.244tr) is for the Export Import (Exim) Bank of China; Agence Francaise Development (AFD) of France has $502,000.38 (N191.4bn); Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) $78,000.20 (N29.7bn); Exim Bank of India $37,000 (N14.1bn) and Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbua of Germany will be paid $193,000.26 (N73.6bn) debt.

Aside from the Eurobonds commercial loan, Nigeria has another $300,000 (N114.4bn) commercial loan to pay as the Diaspora Bond.

Commenting on the implications of taking commercial loans like the Eurobond, a professor of Economics and Chairman of the Foundation for Economic Research and Training (FERT) in Lagos, Akpan Horgan Ekpo, said: "The excuse that the World Bank or the IMF give too many conditions is not germane for taking very expensive commercial loans.

"We met those conditions in the past with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, and we can still do the same."

Prof. Ekpo argued that studies had shown that the preference for fast commercial loans also created the risk of not deploying the loans in the projects they were meant for because there were no strict preconditions for borrowing and therefore left room for poor accountability.

Equally, professor of Capital Market, Uche Uwaleke, cautioned against the loan saying, "The appreciation of the dollar compared to the Naira also has implications for Nigeria's growing external debts profile.

"The risk is heightened by the growing proportion of commercial debts relative to concessional loans."

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