The Debt Management Office has revealed that Nigeria’s total debt profile as of December 31, 2018, stands at N24.387tn. The figure swelled by 12.25 per cent from N21.725tn in 2017 to N24.39tn in 2018.
The debt rose by N2.66tn from December 31, 2017, to December 31, 2018.
Statistics provided by DMO in Abuja on Thursday showed that the country’s public debt rose from N21.73tn in 2017 to N24.39tn within the one year period.
According to the DMO, the year-on-year growth of public debt show a 12.25 per cent within the one year period.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, Director General of DMO, Patience Oniha, said the funds were borrowed to fund projects, to finance budget deficit and to refinance maturing obligations.
Particularly, she said, some foreign debt was used to refinance treasury bills because of the short tenor of the bills, adding that borrowing from abroad had also helped to stabilise the local currency in the last two years.
The DMO boss said that the Federal Government’s domestic debt stock included N331.12bn Promissory Notes issued to oil marketing companies and state governments in December 2018.
According to her, some targets that had been set in the country’s Debt Management Strategy had been achieved or nearly achieved. These include the plan to achieve a tenor of 75:25 ratio in favour of long tenor debts.
Oniha said the target had been surpassed as the country now had a 78:22 ratio in favour of long term debts.
She said, “The share of domestic debt dropped to 68.18 per cent from 73.36 per cent as of December 31, 2017, thereby achieving a mix of 68.18 per cent and 31.82 per cent in the debt stock.”
According to the DMO, the strategy of using relatively cheaper and longer tenured external funds is achieving the expected objectives. (Punch)