Nigeria’s Public Debt Soars by 75.27% in Q2 2023, Says NBS

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In a stunning revelation, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has confirmed that Nigeria’s public debt witnessed a staggering 75.27% growth on a quarter-on-quarter basis.

The NBS made this startling announcement on Thursday as it unveiled its Domestic and Foreign Debt report for the second quarter of 2023.

According to the report, Nigeria’s public debt, comprising both external and domestic obligations, skyrocketed to a whopping N87.38 trillion (approximately US$113.42 billion) in Q2 2023, up from N49.85 trillion (approximately US$108.30 billion) in the previous quarter.

This astronomical surge in debt levels has raised concerns and prompted experts to question the nation’s fiscal responsibility.

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“Total external debt amounted to N33.25 trillion (US$43.16 billion) in Q2 2023, while total domestic debt reached N54.13 trillion (US$70.26 billion),” the report stated.

The breakdown revealed that external debt constituted 38.05% of the total public debt, while domestic debt accounted for the remaining 61.95%.

Diving into the state-by-state debt distribution, the report disclosed that Lagos state carried the heaviest domestic debt burden in Q2 2023, with an astonishing N996.44 billion.

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Delta followed closely with N465.40 billion. Conversely, Jigawa state had the lowest domestic debt at N43.13 billion, with Kebbi just slightly ahead at N60.94 billion.

On the external debt front, Lagos state once again led the pack with a staggering US$1.26 billion, trailed by Kaduna at US$569.38 million. Borno state found itself at the bottom of the list with a mere US$18.75 million, followed by Taraba at US$21.92 million.

In terms of dollar value, the total external debt reached a significant milestone, hitting $43.159 billion in Q2, while domestic debt stood at $70.264 billion. Lagos state’s domestic debt alone was recorded at N996.4 billion.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was not left untouched by the debt surge, registering a domestic debt of N84.773 billion.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) had previously reported that Nigeria’s total public debt had soared to N87.38 trillion by the close of the second quarter of 2023.

This comprehensive debt figure encompassed the N22.71 trillion in Ways and Means Advances extended by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Federal Government, as clarified by the DMO.

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“Nigeria’s total public debt stock as of June 30, 2023, was N87.38 trillion ($113.42 billion). It comprises the total domestic and external debts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the thirty-six states, and the Federal Capital Territory,” the DMO stated.

The DMO also attributed the significant increase in public debt to the inclusion of the N22.712 trillion securitized Federal Government’s Ways and Means Advances.

The report cited several factors contributing to this alarming debt growth. Notably, both the Federal Government and sub-national entities have significantly increased their borrowing activities from local and external sources.

Moreover, ongoing reforms initiated by the present administration and potential reforms resulting from the recommendations of the Fiscal Reform and Tax Policies Committee are aimed at enhancing debt strategy and sustainability.


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