The Nigeria’s total public debt stock rose from N33.11tn as of March 31, 2021 to N35.47tn as of June 30, 2021 which shows an increase of N2.36tn or 7.13t within the three-month period.
This was disclosed by the Director General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, who provided a breakdown of the public debt stock for the second quarter of 2021 during a virtual media presentation on Wednesday.
The total external debt stock rose from N12.47tn as of March 31 to N13.71tn as of June 30, showing an increase of N1.24tn or 9.94%.
The total domestic debt stock rose from N20.64tn as of March 31 to N21.75tn as of June 30, showing an increase of N1.11tn or 5.38%.
At the end of Q2 2021, external debt stock made up 38.66% while domestic debt stock made up 61.34% of the total public debt stock.
The debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio rose from 21.13% to 21.92% within the second quarter.
At the end of the second quarter, a breakdown of external debt stock showed that multilateral debt (from World Bank Group and African Development Group) led the list of Nigeria’s creditors with a share of 54.88%.
The second highest was commercial debt (from Eurobonds and Diaspora Bonds) with a share of 31.88%, followed by bilateral debts (from China, France, Japan, India and Germany) with a share of 12.70% while promissory Notes had a share of 0.54%.
The DMO boss stated that the debt stock was fast growing with a high debt service to revenue ratio, alongside issues around the use of debt proceeds.
The DMO boss blamed the public debt issues on high infrastructure deficit, recession, consecutive budget deficits, low revenue base, worsened by the country’s reliance on a single source of income which is the crude oil.
Oniha said the government needed to expand its revenue base and promote public-private partnership and also spoke on the means and ways, which encompassed government borrowing from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“Like most central banks, the CBN Act 2007 allows the Central Bank of Nigeria to lend to the government. So, the CBN lending to the government is neither prohibited nor a bad thing,” she said.
She, however, admitted that the limit placed on Federal Government borrowing from the CBN had been violated due to revenue shortfalls and spending that government had to make.
The DMO boss revealed that a plan was ongoing to restructure the debt taken from the CBN in order to include it in the public debt stock.