Nigeria’s Public Debt Soars 75% in Q2 2023 to Record High

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics has issued a startling revelation in its latest Domestic and Foreign Debt report for the second quarter of 2023, confirming that Nigeria’s public debt has surged by a staggering 75.27% on a quarter-on-quarter basis. This alarming growth has sent shockwaves throughout the nation.

In its report, the NBS unveiled that Nigeria’s public debt, encompassing both external and domestic debt, skyrocketed from N49.85 trillion (US$108.30 billion) in the first quarter of 2023 to a jaw-dropping N87.38 trillion (US$113.42 billion) in the second quarter of the same year.

The NBS emphasized, “Total external debt stood at N33.25 trillion (US$43.16 billion) in Q2 2023, while total domestic debt was N54.13 trillion (US$70.26 billion). The share of external debt (in naira value) to total public debt was 38.05% in Q2 2023, while the share of domestic debt (in naira value) to total public debt was 61.95%.”

Startlingly, Lagos state emerged as the leader in domestic debt, amassing a staggering N996.44 billion, followed closely by Delta state with N465.40 billion. Conversely, Jigawa state recorded the lowest domestic debt with N43.13 billion, followed by Kebbi with N60.94 billion. On the external debt front, Lagos state again took the lead with a hefty US$1.26 billion, trailed by Kaduna with US$569.38 million. Borno state and Taraba state held the lowest external debt, with US$18.75 million and US$21.92 million, respectively.

In terms of dollars, the total external debt reached an astounding $43.159 billion in Q2, closely shadowed by domestic debt, which stood at $70.264 billion. Lagos state, a significant economic powerhouse, held a massive domestic debt of N996.4 billion. For states collectively, the total domestic debt for the quarter amounted to N5.8 trillion. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) also recorded a notable domestic debt of N84.773 billion.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) had previously reported that Nigeria’s total public debt ballooned to a staggering N87.38 trillion by the close of the second quarter of 2023. In a comprehensive statement, the DMO clarified that this encompassed the N22.71 trillion Ways and Means Advances extended by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Federal Government.

“Nigeria’s total public debt stock as of June 30, 2023, was N87.38 trillion ($113.42 billion). It comprises the total domestic and external debts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the thirty-six states, and the Federal Capital Territory,” the DMO stated.

Furthermore, the DMO underscored the significant contribution to the Public Debt Stock, attributing it to the inclusion of the N22.712 trillion secularized Federal Government’s Ways and Means Advances, creating mounting concerns about the nation’s fiscal stability.

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