As the external debt stock of Nigeria rose slightly from $22.071 billion in the first quarter of the year to $22.083 billion as at June 2018, the amount the country spends in servicing its external debts has dropped by 10.2 per cent. As against $225.25 million which was spent servicing multilateral, bilateral, commercial and euro bonds in the first three months of the year, the federal government spent $202.37 million servicing its external debts in the second quarter of the year. According to data released by the Debt Management Office (DMO), while the amount spent on servicing commercial debts and euro bonds obligations rose, however, what was spent on servicing multilateral and bilateral obligations went down. The highest increase was from bond obligations which saw a significant increase of 132 per cent from $45.63 million in the first quarter to $105.93 million in the second quarter. The federal government obligations at the Eurobonds market totals $8.8billion which is inclusive of the $300 million Diaspora bond.
Servicing the commercial obligations of the country cost $114.37 million the second quarter, higher than $104.69 million which it cost in the first three months of the year. Cost of servicing multilateral obligations was down from $60.03 million in the first quarter to $51.15 million, while that of servicing bilateral obligations dropped from $60.5 million to $16.02 million.
The DMO earlier this week revealed that the nation’s debt profile rose by a marginal 3.01 per cent between 2017 December and June 2018. The total public debt, which includes the domestic and external debt stock of the federal government, the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), stood at N22.38 trillion (or $73.21 billion) as at June 30, this year.
Director-general of the debt office, Ms. Patience Oniha, during a media briefing yesterday in Abuja, said the increase in the Public Debt Stock over the six-month period was due largely to the $2.5 billion Eurobond issued in February 2018. Nigeria currently has 18 per cent debt ratio, which shows it is still below the 25 per cent rate the law allows the federal government to reach.
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