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Nigeria’s Debt Hits N44.06tr

Nigeria’s public debt rose to N44.06 trillion ($101.91 billion) in the third quarter of 2022 (Q3 2022), 2.85 per cent above N42.84 trillion ($103.31 billion) in Q2 2022, according to the latest report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The report covers both domestic and foreign debt as of Q3 2022 and comprises the debt of the federal government and those of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

External debt amounted to N17.14 trillion ($39.66 billion) and domestic debt N26.91 trillion, the NBS said.

The share of external debt to total public debt was 38.91 per cent in Q3 2022 and that of domestic debt 61.08 per cent.

Lagos racked up the highest domestic debt (N877.03 billion), followed by Delta (N272.61 billion), and Ogun (N241.78 billion).

“The lowest debt was recorded in Jigawa with N44.40 billion, followed by Kebbi and Katsina with N60.13 billion and N62.37 billion respectively,” the report explained, per reporting by Vanguard.

Obi warns, don’t vote APC, Buhari has wasted N60tr loans since 2015

Muhammadu Buhari has borrowed and wasted N60 trillion in his seven years in the saddle in Aso Rock, Peter Obi has reiterated in another dig at the All Progressives Congress (APC) for trying to retain power through Bola Tinubu as President.

He was implying Nigerians should not vote for Tinubu to succeed Buhari and continue with the corruption and waste that plague the land and turn two-thirds of citizens into paupers and beggars.

Obi, Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, disclosed in his presentation at Chatham House, London on 16 January that all the loans Buhari has taken since 2015 purportedly to grow the economy have been wasted.

He said Nigeria raised its debt from N15 trillion when Buhari became President in 2015 to N75 trillion in 2022 because it is borrowing for consumption, with the entire money “thrown away.”

The PUNCH writes the debt may even rise to N77 trillion this year if the National Assembly (NASS) approves Buhari’s request to restructure Ways and Means Advances by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Debt Management Office (DMO) Director General Patience Oniha disclosed this during the public presentation of the 2023 budget by Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed.

The CBN uses Ways and Means Advances as a loan facility to finance shortfalls in government’s budget.

Obi explained borrowing is essential for any economy to thrive but loans must be put into the development of the economy and invested in production.

Nothing wrong in borrowing if invested

“There’s nothing wrong in borrowing. Borrowing is legitimate and every government I’ve studied in the world borrows. Even Britain as we speak owes 70 per cent of their GDP. Every government I know lives on borrowing.

“Norway, with $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth, is owing,” Obi stressed.

“The economies of the world, even the biggest economy in the world, America, is owing almost 100 per cent of their GDP. The second largest economy, China, is owing almost 70 per cent, while Japan is owing over 230 per cent of their GDP.

“But let me tell you the difference.

“Japan is owing 230 per cent of their GDP but they invested the money to save their economy and even with that, Japan is still the largest holder of the US treasuries, so there’s something they can fall back on. So borrowing is not wrong.

“But what has happened is that when you borrow for consumption, you have a crisis. Nigeria in 2015 had a per capita income of $2,500, we were owing about N15 trillion. Today, with Central Bank’s ways and means, we are owing about N75 trillion.

“So we have grown that debt profile by over 400 per cent. That means that the money we borrowed was thrown away.”




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