Nigeria’s Public Debt Surges to N121.67 Trillion Amid Naira Devaluation

Nigeria’s total public debt has soared to N121.67 trillion, marking an increase of N24.33 trillion or 24.99% in just three months, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

In a statement released on Thursday in Abuja, the DMO detailed that the nation’s debt had risen from N97.34 trillion (USD108.23 billion) as of December 2023. The public debt encompasses the total domestic and external debts of the Federal Government, the 36 state governments, and the Federal Capital Territory.

The report specified, “Nigeria’s total public debt stood at N121.67 trillion (USD91.46 billion) as of March 31, 2024. The comparative figure for December 31, 2023, was N97.34 trillion (USD108.23 billion). Total Domestic Debt was N65.65 trillion (USD46.29 billion) while Total External Debt was N56.02 trillion (USD42.12 billion).”

PUNCH Online highlighted that the significant increase was largely driven by naira devaluation, which paradoxically reduced the debt in dollar terms. Over the past 12 months, the government borrowed a total of $4.95 billion from the World Bank amid rising concerns over the escalating costs of servicing external debt.

Additionally, the government anticipates new loan approvals amounting to $4.4 billion from the World Bank and the African Development Bank in the upcoming year. An analysis by PUNCH Online revealed that the World Bank had approved funding for six key projects, including $750 million for power sector financing, $500 million for women empowerment, $700 million for girl child education, $750 million for renewable energy solutions, $750 million for resource mobilization reforms, and $1.5 billion for economic stabilization reforms.

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