As Federal Government plan for more borrows, the country’s debt stock has called for concerns as Debt Management Office (DMO), revealed that Nigeria’s debt will rise above N75, trillion give or take this year.
The DMO’s Director General, Patience Oniha said this in Abuja during a public presentation of the highlights of 2023 Appropriation Act.
She disclosed that by June this year, the total debt could rise up to N72 trillion as the government plans to borrow N8.8 trillion from both local and international markets to implement the N21.83 trillion budget for 2023.
Oniha told Nigerians that depending on the market condition, the total debt stock, which includes FG, State governments, and Local Governments’ borrowing, will rise to the N72 trillion by June.
However, she stated that if 2022 September debts is added to the N8.8 trillion FG plan on borrowing, plus N23.7 trillion ways and means loan from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the total debt stock will amount to over N75 trillion. This is excluding the yet-to-be released fourth quarter borrowing of 2022.
What could give rise to the amount is not far-fetched as the debt office said that the cost of service debt; current debt stock, new borrowings for 2023 budget, CBN’s loan to FG and issuance of promissory notes will raise the debts to such amount.
Meanwhile, N44 trillion was reported as the country’s debt in September 2022. President Muhammadu Buhari also has been urging the National Assembly to approve the N23.7 trillion loan from CBN for restructuring, which according to some members of the legislative house is a breach of CBN Act of 2007.
However, the President had stated that N1.8 trillion will be paid to the financial regulator if the National Assembly do not approve the loan for restructuring.
Recall that Ali Ndume, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army brought to the limelight how President Muhammadu Buhari took N22, trillion Ways and Means Loan from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) without the awareness of National Assembly, and later seeking for its approval after the money was spent.
The document forwarded for approval , according to Ndume was only a two page report with no elaborate details on what the money was used for.