According to data released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in September, Nigerian states and federal debt stock data as of June 30th, 2017 reflected that the country’s foreign and domestic debt stood at  $15.05 billion and N14.06 trillion respectively.

Further disaggregation of the foreign debt showed that $9.67 billion was multilateral; $218.25 million was bilateral (AFD) and $5.15 billion from the Exim Bank of China credited to the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).

The FGN had a total debt that accounted for 74 percent of the nation’s total foreign debt while all states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) accounted for the remaining 26 percent. Similarly, total FGN debt accounted for 78.66 percent of the country’s total domestic debt while all states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) accounted for the 21.34 percent balance.

A further breakdown demonstrated that the FGN domestic debt stock by instruments posits that N7.56 trillion or 68.41 percent of the debts are in Federal Government bonds, N3.28 trillion or 29.64 percent are in treasury bills and N215.99 million or 1.95 percent are in treasury bonds.

Lagos state has the highest foreign debt profile among the 36 states and the FCT, accounting for 37 percent while Kaduna has 6 percent, Edo – 5 percent, Cross River – 4 percent and Ogun – 3 percent, following closely.

Lagos state domestic and foreign debt Credit - NBS
Lagos state domestic and foreign debt. Credit – NBS

Also, Lagos state has the highest domestic debt profile among the 36 states and the FCT, accounting for 10.39 percent while Delta has 8.04 percent, Akwa Ibom – 5.18 percent, FCT – 5.09 percent and Osun – 4.90 percent.

Osun state domestic and foreign debt Credit - NBS
Osun state domestic and foreign debt. Credit – NBS

These figures indicate that the domestic debts of the 36 states and the FCT have been on the rise since 2015 under the present administration. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) added that Nigeria’s growing public debt is due to governments delay in implementing necessary adjustments to fiscal policy.

The NBS data further shows that the figure rose from about N2.503 trillion in 2015 to N2.959 trillion in 2016 before reaching the tipping point of N3.001 trillion in 2017.

The statistics also indicate that out of the total N14.06 trillion national debt stock, the Federal Government accounts for about N11.058 trillion or 78.66 percent, against about N2.959 trillion or 21.34 percent by all the states and the FCT.

Granting that the NBS did not make available the Federal Governments’ domestic debt figures for 2015, data obtained from the Debt Management Office (DMO) website showed that total domestic debt by instruments as at December 2015 stood at N8.836 trillion.

This comprised of Federal Government bonds which stood at N5.808 trillion or 65.73 percent; Nigerian treasury bills of N2.773 trillion or 31.38 percent, and treasury bonds of N255.99 billion or 2.90 percent.

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