The report by the Debt Management Office (DMO) that Nigeria’s total debt has hit N42.84 trillion and still running may have startled members of the National Assembly over the long term consequences.
The DMO in a release on the debt issue which is contained its website revealed that most of the debts were domestic.
For instance, the report showed that 72.53 per cent were FGN bonds.
The statement said that total public debt stock which include federal and states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) increased from N41.60 trillion as at March 30, 2022 to N42.84 trillion by June 30. The rise within three months was N1.24 trillion.
The statement also added that domestic debt stock was N26.23 trillion as government resorted to borrowing to finance deficit in the 2022 budget.
According to the DMO release, “The total public debt stock, representing the domestic and external debt stocks of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the 36 state governments, and the Federal Capital Territory, was N42.84tn ($103.31 billion) as of June 30, 2022. The comparative figures for March 30, 2022 was N41.60tn ($100.07 billion).”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila who spoke as the House resumed plenary on Tuesday showed concerns over the rising debt as well as crude oil theft.
In his welcome address, the Speaker said though the House appreciates the fiscal conditions that led to the borrowings, he however expressed worry over the long term effect.
He also expressed worry over the continued crude oil production decline as a result of theft and sabotage.
Gbajabiamila said, “Due to theft and various acts of economic sabotage, we are experiencing a massive decline in the volume of crude oil exports. Our crude oil export of 972,394 bpd for August is the lowest we have recorded in the last two decades.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, also expressed concern on the crude oil theft and the effect on the economy.
According to Lawan, the situation was pushing the nation’s economy to a coma.
Incidentally, the concerns raised by the law makers came just as President Muhammadu Buhari sought approval from the Senate and House of Representatives for N402 billion as promissory notes to clear federal debts.