Bad News: Nigeria's total debt rises to $56Bn

Nigerian total national debt rose to N17.36 trillion ($56 billion) as of Dec. 2016 from N12.60 trillion a year earlier, the Debt Management Office said, as the country battled with its first recession in a quarter of century caused by low oil prices.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy expects a budget deficit of N2.36 trillion for 2017, with half of it funded through domestic borrowing.

It has been selling bonds and bills this year at yields below rising inflation to curb borrowing cost as it battles to kick-start the economy this year.

Foreign bonds and loans stood at $11.40 billion at the end of December, the debt office said on its website – equivalent to about 20% of total debt and up from $10.7 billion at the end of 2015.

Local debt spiked to N13.88 trillion last year, up from N8.83 trillion in 2015, this is bound to rise further.

The government has said it will raise N130 billion at its third domestic debt sale this year on March 15 and sell N1.13 trillion worth of treasury bills by the second quarter.

Nigeria also plans to issue a new savings bond this month targeted at retail investors to broaden its funding base followed by a N20 billion “green bond” sale in April.

It sold a $1 billion Eurobond last month and wants to sell another for $500 million. The government aims to issue a $300 million diaspora bond abroad this year and sell its first sovereign sukuk in the local market.

In December, President Muhammadu Buhari, presented a N7.3 trillion budget for 2017 to parliament, an increase of N1.22 trillion from 2016.

Post a comment