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Nigeria’s public debt increased to N32.9tn in Dec 2020 – DMO

Nigeria’s Debt Management Office on Monday reported that Public Debt in the West African country jumped to N32.9 trillion at the end of December 2020.

According to the last report on public debt, which was published on the DMO’s official website, public debt’s figure stood at N32.2 trillion as of the end of September 2020, which showed an increase of N700 billion.

The DMO disclosed that the total public debt to the Gross Domestic Product was 21.61%, adding that it was within Nigeria’s new limit of 40%.

“Nigeria’s total public debt as of December 31, 2020 was N32.92tn. The figures include the debt stock of the federal and state governments, as well as, the Federal Capital Territory,” it stated.

It was gathered that after Nigeria exited recession in 2017, the level of new borrowing at the federal level as shown in the annual Appropriation Acts, had been declining  to moderate the rate of growth in the public debt stock in order to ensure debt sustainability.

The DMO stated that new borrowing to part finance budget deficits had declined steadily from N2.36 trillion in 2017 to N2.01 trillion in 2018, N1.61 trillion in 2019 and N1.59 trillion in the first 2020 Appropriation Act.

This trend was reversed in 2020 due to the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as new borrowing in the revised 2020 Appropriation Act was N4.2 trillion.

The DMO stated, “It should be noted though, that apart from the new domestic borrowing of N2.3tn, the other new borrowings were concessional loans from the International Monetary Fund ($3.34bn) and other multilateral and bilateral lenders.

“This incremental borrowing to part-finance the 2020 budget and the additional issuance of promissory notes to settle some arrears of the Federal Government of Nigeria, contributed to the increase in public debt stock.

“New domestic borrowings by state governments also contributed to the growth in the public debt stock.”