Nigeria’s public debt hits N97.34trn in Q4 2023

Nigeria’s public debt rose to ₦97.34trn ($108bn) as of the fourth quarter of 2023, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

DMO made this known in a statement made available to journalists on Friday.

This increase in debt levels was basically attributed to new domestic borrowing initiatives undertaken by the Federal Government.

The new borrowing by the government is aimed at partially financing the deficit outlined in the 2024 Appropriation Act, alongside disbursements from both multilateral and bilateral lenders. 

The statement partly read, “Nigeria’s Public Debt Stock as of December 31, 2023 was ₦97.34 trillion or $108.229 billion. This amount comprises the domestic and external debt stocks of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), the thirty-six (36) state governments, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)

“There was an increase of ₦9.43 trillion over the comparative figure for September, 2023 which was largely due to new domestic borrowing by the FGN to partially finance the deficit in the 2024 Appropriation Act and disbursements by multilateral and bilateral lenders.”

According to the DMO, while domestic debt accounted for 61 percent of the total public debt, external debt accounted for 39 percent of the total debt owed by Nigeria.

“At ₦59.12 trillion, total domestic debt accounted for 61 percent of the total public debt stock, while external debt at ₦38.22 trillion accounted for the balance of 39 percent.

“Consistent with the debt management strategy, Nigeria’s external debt stock was skewed in favour of loans from multilateral (49.77 percent) and bilateral lenders (14.02 percent) or total of 63.79 percent which are mostly concessional and semi-concessional,” the statement added.

The DMO said it has continued to employ the best practices in public debt management and is committed to shore up revenue to support debt sustainability.

“Whilst the DMO continues to employ best practices in public debt management, the recent and ongoing efforts of the fiscal authorities to shore up revenue will support debt sustainability,” it stated.

In December 2023, the DMO said that Nigeria’s total public debt as of September 30, 2023 was ₦87.91 trillion, or $114.35 billion.

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