Nigerians now owe over N200,000 to both domestic and foreign creditors due to the rising public debt of the Federal and State governments, which rose to N41.60 trillion in the First Quarter (Q1) of 2022.
According to the public debt data obtained from the country’s Debt Management Office (DMO), the Nigerian government increased its total debt by borrowing N2.04 trillion between January to December of this year.
This loan was sourced from multilateral and bilateral lenders, including the Eurobond market, where the Nigerian government raised $1.25 billion, as part of capital to finance the deficit of the 2022 Appropriation Act.
The increase raise the total public debt from N39.56 trillion, which the country owed as of December 2021. This means Nigeria’s public debt to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is 23.27%, and if the debt is divided to the over 200 million citizens, then each person will pay over N200,000.
According to DMO, the total debt “represents the domestic and external debt stocks of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the thirty-six state governments and the Federal Capital Territory. The comparative figures for December 31, 2021, were N39.56tn or $95.78bn.”
Note that while the government claimed the country’s debt to GDP ratio is 23.27%, way below the 40% the Nigerian government set for itself, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said as at the end of 2021, the nation’s ratio is 37%.
The IMF further stated in April 2022, that at the end of 2022, the figure will rise to 37.4%, then rise to 38.8% the next year. Its projection for Nigeria’s debt to GDP also disclosed that by 2024, it will hit 40.2%, and touch 41.6%, 42.9% and 44.2% in 2025, 2026 and 2027 respectively.
This projection is amid rising debt to revenue ratio, which shows, as at 2021, Nigeria is spending N96, from every N100 it makes, on repaying debt, as debt to revenue ratio jumped to 96% from 21.6% in the last 11 years.