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Nigeria’s public debt rises by 10.7%, hits N97.34 trillion 

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The Debt Management Office (DMO) has disclosed a significant escalation in the country’s public debt, which soared by 10.7% to N97.34 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2023, from N87.91 trillion recorded in the previous quarter. 

This surge in debt levels was primarily attributed to new domestic borrowing initiatives undertaken by the Federal Government, aimed at partially financing the deficit outlined in the 2024 Appropriation Act, alongside disbursements from both multilateral and bilateral lenders. 

The DMO’s revelation came through a press statement released on Friday, which meticulously outlined the composition and reasons behind the uptick in the national debt figure. 

The statement read: 

 

Delving deeper into the specifics, the DMO explained that the N97.3 trillion public debt is comprised of N59.12 trillion in domestic debt and N38.22 trillion in external debt. 

This composition highlights a strategic skew towards domestic borrowing, which constitutes 61% of the total debt, with the remaining 39% coming from external sources. 

The statement further clarified the nature of Nigeria’s external debt, noting that a significant portion (63.79%) is derived from loans from multilateral and bilateral lenders. These loans are primarily concessional or semi-concessional, indicating efforts to manage the debt burden effectively. 

The statement added: 

The DMO emphasised its commitment to employing best practices in public debt management, while also acknowledging the critical role of the fiscal authorities’ ongoing efforts to increase revenue, which is essential for maintaining debt sustainability. 

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