From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that Lagos State has the highest domestic debt in Q3 2022 with N877.03 billion, followed by Delta State with N272.61 billion and Ogun State with N241.78 billion. 

Also, the lowest debt was recorded in Jigawa with N44.40 billion, followed by Kebbi and Katsina with N60.13 billion and N62.37 billion respectively.

In a statement obtained from the NBS website, Nigeria’s public debt stock which includes external and domestic debt stood at N44.06 trillion (US$101.91 billion) in Q3 2022 from N42.84 trillion (US$ 103.31 billion) in Q2 2022. 

While external debt stood at N17.14 trillion (US$39.66 billion) in Q3 2022, domestic debt was N26.91 trillion.

However, the share of external debt to total public debt stood at 38.91 per cent in Q3 2022, while domestic debt was recorded at 61.08 per cent.

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Confirming NBS data, Director General of Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms Patience Oniha stated that while the ways and means is about N22.3 trillion with an interest rate of 18.5 per cent, government is expected to borrow additional N8 trillion before it exits office on May 29, this year.

Oniha said that if the new borrowings are included in the current debt of N44.06 trillion, the total debt stock would amount to N77 trillion

According to her, the debt stock is still growing from the issuance of promissory notes which are not true borrowing as such by the government. 

“It will be safe to say that we will be looking at N77 trillion. While the debt is growing because of new borrowings, revenue is receiving significant importance. Like DMO always says, you can’t talk about debt without talking about revenue. We need the two to work together” she further explained.

Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, in a recent remark, disclosed that Nigeria was  not planning to restructuring its debt as it remains committed to meeting its domestic and external debt obligations.

“The Federal Government will however continue to utilise appropriate debt management tools to streamline the cost and risk profile in the debt portfolio, including through concessional loans, spreading out of debt maturities to avoid bunching, and re-profiling of the debt maturities by refinancing short-term debt using long-term debt instruments,” she said.