The nation’s total public debt rose by N3.32trn in one year to N25.7trn as at the end of June 2019, the Debt Management Office said on Tuesday. The Federal Government owed N20.42trn as of June 30, 2019, while the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory had a total debt portfolio of N5.28trn.
The debt stock is made up of N8.32trn ($27.16bn) external debt and N17.38trn borrowed domestically, according to the DMO. The nation’s public debt, which stood at N22.38trn as of June 2018, increased to N24.39trn in December 2018 and N24.95trn in March 2019. The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria noted last month that the rising public debt was one of the headwinds to the nation’s growth prospects.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said in August that the country did not have any debt challenge but a challenge with generating sufficient revenue. “There is a lot of insensitivity around the level of our debt. “I want to restate that our debt is not too high — what we have is a revenue problem.