Nigeria’s total debts – foreign and local – have risen to N19.16 trillion, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
According to the the Debt Management Office, DMO, the nation’s indebtedness to creditors – local and foreign – rose from the N17.36 trillion recorded at the end of December 2016, representing an increase of N1.8 trillion.
The DMO said that at the end of March 2015, the country’s total debt stood at N12.06 trillion, representing an increase of N7.1 trillion in two years.
According to data released by the DMO, the Nigerian government’s domestic debt stood at N11.97 trillion, as against N8.51 trillion recorded in 2015.
This represents a domestic borrowing record of N3.46 trillion, representing 40.71 per cent.
On the other hand, Nigeria’s external debt for the federal and state governments rose from $9.46 billion to $13.81 billion in two years, representing an increase of $4.35 billion, put at 45.98 per cent.
The DMO noted that the official exchange rate of N306.35 to $1 was deployed in calculating the country ’s external debt for March 31, 2017, while the official rate of N197 to $ 1 was used in determining the foreign debt for March 31 , 2015.
Meanwhile, The domestic debt profile of the states stood at N 2 .96 trillion as of March 31, 2017, rising from N1.69 trillion at the same time in 2015, representing an increase of N1.27 trillion.
Hit by dwindling oil revenues, the Nigerian government has had to resort to borrowing to finance its numerous projects and meet other developmental demands.
However, experts have raised concerns over the government’s borrowing plans, with many suggesting that it is dangerous for the nation’s finance.
Earlier in May, the International Monetary Fund, IMF, projected that the nation’s indebtedness would hit 24.1 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, by 2018, adding that by 2017, the nation’s debt profile would have reached 23 .3 per cent of the GDP.
Similarly, the World Bank had also expressed reservations over Nigeria’s debt servicing to revenue ratio, saying that declined earnings might render the country’s debts unsustainable.
Nigeria’s GDP for the year ended December 31, 2016 stood at N67. 98 trillion, according to figures obtained from the statistics bureau.
By the IMF’s projection of 24 .1 per cent, Nigeria’s debt to GDP would have skyrocketed by 100 percent in 2018.