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Nigeria’s Public Debt Rises By N560bn In 3 Months

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Nigeria’s total public debt grew marginally in the first quarter of 2019 by 2.30 per cent to stand at N24.947 trillion, equivalent of $81.274 billion as at March 31 this year.

When compared to the N24.387 trillion or $79.437 billion figure recorded as at December 31 2018, the total debt stock of the nation grew by N560 billion within the first three months of 2019, latest data released by the Debt Management Officer (DMO) has shown.

The debt figure is owed by the Federal government, 36 State governments of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The increase of N560.009 billion in the total public debt in Q1 2019, was accounted for largely by domestic debt which grew by N458.363 billion.

Increases were recorded in the domestic debt stock of the federal government, states and the FCT.

On the other hand, external debt also increased by N101.646 billion during the same period.

In relation to the debt management strategy of the debt office, the ratio of domestic to external debt stood at 68.49 per cent to 31.51 per cent at the end of March 2019, the DMO said in the statement that was issued yesterday.

The total public debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio was 19.03 per cent which is within the 25 per cent debt limit imposed by the central government.

The Debt Management Office released the figure in its practice of publishing the Public Debt Data comprising the Domestic and External Debts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT.

The public debt is projected to rise above N27 trillion in 2019 alone based on federal government borrowing plan for the year.

The government has said it will borrow N1.65 trillion, representing 18.6 per cent of the 2019 Appropriation Act valued at N8.82 trillion will be borrowed to fund the deficit of the 2019 budget through domestic and foreign borrowings.

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