Nigeria’s public debt rises hits N97.34 trillion 

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has disclosed a significant escalation in the country’s public debt, which soared by 10.7% to N97.34 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2023, from N87.91 trillion recorded in the previous quarter. 

The data showed that the country’s total debt stock increased by 118 per cent year-on-year from N46.25 trillion as at December 2022 to N97.3 per cent in December 2023.

The DMO said the N97.3 trillion debt stock comprises of the domestic and external debt stocks of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The debt office said that there was an increase of N9.43 trillion over the comparative figure for 30 September 2023.

It said that the increase was largely due to new domestic borrowing by the federal government to part-finance the deficit in the 2024 budget, and disbursements by multilateral and bilateral lenders.

“At N59.12 trillion, total domestic debt accounted for 61 per cent of the total public debt stock, while external debt at N38.22trillion accounted for the balance of 39 per cent,” it said.

The DMO said that the country’s external debt stock was skewed in favour of loans from multilateral and bilateral lenders.

The debt office said the move was consistent with the country’s debt management strategy.

It said that loans from multilateral sources constituted 49.77 per cent of the country’s external debt stock, while loans from bilateral sources constituted 16.02 per cent.

“That is a total of 63.79 per cent, mostly concessional and semi-concessional loans.

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

The DMO’s revelation came through a press statement released on Friday, which meticulously outlined the composition and reasons behind the uptick in the national debt figure. 

The statement read: 

  • “Nigeria’s Public Debt Stock as at December 31, 2023 was N97.34trillion or $108.229 billion. This amount comprises the domestic and external debt stocks of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), the thirty-six (36) States Governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). 
  • “There was an increase of N9.43 trillion over the comparative figure for September, 2023 which was largely due to new domestic borrowing by the FGN to part finance the deficit in the 2024 Appropriation Act and disbursements by multilateral and bilateral lenders.”