Nigeria’s total debt rose to N12.60 trillion or $65.42 billion as at December 2015, up from N11.2 trillion naira in 2014, an increase of 12.5 per cent according to data released yesterday by the Debt Management Office.
The debt office said on its website that foreign bonds and loans stood at $10.7 billion at the end of December, equivalent to about 16 percent of total debt and up by 9.3 per cent from $9.71 billion at the end of 2014.
Total local debt of the federal government at the end of 2015 stood at N8.836 trillion of $44.85 billion with bonds accounting for 65 per cent of the debt. Debt stock from bonds totaled N5.818 trillion while government Treasury Bills debt stock was N2.77 trillion at the end of 2015.
Federal government total external debt stood at $7.348 billion accounting for 68.5 per cent of total external debt while the external debt stock of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory stood at $3.369 billion.
Lagos state held the largest foreign debt of $1.207 billion accounting for 35.8 per cent and 11.2 per cent of states and total debt respectively. It was followed by Kaduna state which has an external debt stock of $226.368 million.
Nigeria is planning to borrow as much as $5 billion to help fund its budget deficit due to the plunge in oil prices which has also sent the naira currency into a tailspin.
The African Development Bank (AFDB) on Tuesday said the West African nation has asked the bank for a loan of $1 billion to help fund the deficit. Nigeria expects a deficit of N3 trillion in 2016, up from an initial N2.2 trillion estimate.
But the continuous drop in oil prices has left Abuja’s ability to pay bills and fund new projects in doubt, with rising domestic debt obligations. Local debt rose to N8.83 trillion last year, up from N7.9 trillion in 2014.
In 2014, Nigeria rebased its GDP, almost doubling the size of its output to more than $500 billion to become the largest economy in Africa. But a weaker naira caused by the fall in oil prices has lowered its growth. Output for 2014 finished at $453 billion, leaving total debt at around 14 per cent of GDP.
Finance minister, Kemi Adeosun said this week Nigeria had held exploratory talks with the World Bank and looked at options to borrow from the AFDB and China Exim Bank. She said that about $4 billion might come from international institutions and the remainder from Eurobonds.
In December, President Muhammadu Buhari, presented a budget of N6.08 trillion naira for 2016 to the National Assembly, an increase from N4.4 trillion for 2015, which Buhari hopes will help tackle an economic crisis confronting the country. Lawmakers aim to pass the budget this month