The domestic debt owed by state governments and the Federal Capital Territory Administration rose to N4.2tn at the end of the third quarter of 2021 from N4.12tn in Q2.
Lagos, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom are the three most indebted, according to the latest data from the Debt Management Office.
The N4.2tn debt represents 23.04 per cent of the country’s domestic debt stock of N18.23tn as of Q3 2021, down from N21.75tn in the previous quarter.
Lagos, Ogun, and three oil-producing states – Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Delta – emerged as the top five debtors, with a combined domestic debt stock of about N1.39tn.
The five states account for 33.1 per cent of the total domestic debt owed by the subnational governments as of September 30, 2021.
Lagos owed N532.12bn as of Q3 2021; Akwa Ibom, N234.85bn; Rivers, N226.35bn; Delta, N207.17bn, and Ogun N192.42bn.
According to the DMO, the domestic debt stock figure for Rivers State was as of June 30, 2021.
Other states with high domestic debts include Cross River, with a debt of N160.69bn; Bayelsa, N145.8bn; Imo, N151.31bn; Osun, N132.64bn; Plateau, N145.86bn; Kano, N102.35bn; Benue, N128.35bn; Oyo, N93.26bn; and Enugu, N69.17bn.
The DMO, had in a statement on Wednesday, disclosed that Nigeria’s public debt was N38.01tn or $92.63bn as of Q3 2021.
It said the total debt stock rose by N2.54tn in three months from N35.47tn as of June 30 to N38tn as of September 30.
It said, “The increase of N2.540tn when compared to the corresponding figure of N35.465tn at the end of Q2 2021 was largely accounted for by the $4bn Eurobonds issued by the government in September 2021.
“The issuance of the $4bn Eurobonds has brought significant benefits to the economy by increasing the level of Nigeria’s external reserves, thereby supporting the naira exchange rate and providing necessary capital to enable the Federal Government finance various projects in the budget.
“The triple tranche $4bn Eurobond, issued in September 2021, was for the implementation of the New External Borrowing of $6.18bn in the 2021 Appropriation Act.”
The DMO also emphasized the need for the Federal Government to increase revenue momentum to lower the country’s debt profile and reduce new loans.
The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, approved external borrowings totalling $5.8bn and a grant of $10m for the Federal Government as part of the proposed 2018–2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan No.3.
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