The Debt Management Office (DMO) has disclosed that Nigeria’s total public debt hit N87.38 trillion at the end of the second quarter of 2023.
The figure represents an increase of 75.29 per cent or N37.53 trillion compared to N49.85 trillion recorded at the end of March 2023.
In a report on Thursday, the DMO said the debt includes the N22.71 trillion Ways and Means Advances of the Central Bank of Nigeria to the Federal Government.
It said, “Nigeria’s total public debt stock as at 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 major addition to the Public Debt Stock was the inclusion of the N22.712 trillion securitized FGN’s Ways and Means Advances.”
The report also noted that other additions to the debt stock were new borrowings by the Federal Government and the sub-nationals from local and external sources.
It added, “The reforms already introduced by the present administration and those that may emerge from the recommendations of the Fiscal Reform and Tax Policies Committee, are expected to impact debt strategy and improve debt sustainability.”
The DMO had earlier projected that the country’s public debt burden may hit N77 trillion following the National Assembly’s approval of the request by former President Muhammadu Buhari to restructure the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Ways and Means Advances.
The Ways and Means Advances is a loan facility through which the CBN finances the shortfalls in the government’s budget.
The Director-General of the DMO, Patience Oniha, during a public presentation of the 2023 budget organised by the former Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, noted that the debt would be N70 trillion without N5 trillion new borrowing and N2 trillion promissory notes.
However, the latest data showed that the current debt stock of N87.38 trillion exceeded the DMO’s projection by N10.38 trillion.
The analysis of the report revealed that Nigeria has a total domestic debt of N54.13 trillion and total external debt of N33.25 trillion.
While the domestic debt makes up 61.95 per cent of total debt, the external makes up 38.05 per cent.
From the report, the domestic debt increased by 79.18 per cent from N30.21 trillion while the external debt rose by 69.28 per cent from N19.64 trillion in Q1 2023.