The Debt Management Office says Nigeria’s total public debt as of September 2019 stood at N26.215 trillion. The Director-General of DMO, Ms Patience Oniha, made this known during a presentation of Public Debt Data as of September 30, 2019 in Abuja on Friday.
Oniha explained that the debt comprised those of the Federal Government, 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory’s debts within the period. She said the comparative figure for June 2019 was N25.701 trillion, which implied that in the quarter of July to September 2019, the total public debt grew by 2.0 per cent. She said the total public debt as of September 2019 included promissory notes in the tune of N821.651 billion, which she said, were issued to settle the Federal Government’s arrears to oil marketing companies and state governments.
The director-general said the 2019 Appropriation Act provided for a total new borrowing of N1.605 trillion split equally between domestic and external, adding that only the domestic component of N802.82 billion was raised due to the late passage of the 2019 budget.
“Among the highlights of the DMO’s achievements for 2019 was the issuance of a 30-year bond for the first time. The introduction of the 30-year bond was to meet the investment needs of long-term investors such as insurance companies and support the development of domestic financial markets in areas such as mortgages,” she said.
According to her, from the Federal Government’s perspective, the 30-year bond also contributed to reducing the refinancing risks of the public debt stock. Oniha stated that the borrowing was to finance specific projects and activities of the government as well as to finance deficit budget. She further explained that due process, which involved the executive and legislature, was followed.
The DMO, however, expressed regret that the discussion around the debt was politically motivated.