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DMO faults report on Nigeria’s debt status

Debt stock to IDA peaks at $11.7bn

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has put Nigeria’s debt stock to International Development Association (IDA) at $11.7 billion as of June 30, 2021, describing it as one of the most favourable borrowing options for countries like Nigeria. Besides, IDA loans, DMO said, was consistent with the Medium Term Debt Management Strategy of the Federal Government.

The debt agency faulted a recent report in a select media outlets (not New Telegraph) purporting that Nigeria was classified by World Bank amongst 10 high-debt risk nations in IDA. Contrary to the report, which DMO tagged misleading, it said the World Bank’s report on assessment of IDA was neither a performance of the IDA loans nor debt repayment capacity of the beneficiaries of IDA loans. The agency said: “The attention of the Debt Management Office (DMO) has been drawn to the publication of Wednesday, August 11, 2021, captioned “World Bank lists Nigeria, nine others highdebt risk nations.”

“In the publication, it was stated that the World Bank has classified Nigeria as one of the top 10 ‘high-debt risk nations’ in the International Development Association (IDA) Audited Financial Statement for the Fiscal Year 2021 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) published on Monday, August 9, 2021.” The debt agency described the report as “not only false and misleading but also suggests an inadequate understanding of the essence of the World Bank’s report.” It stated that the World Bank’s report was an assessment of the performance of IDA and not the performance of the IDA loans nor the debt repayment capacity of the beneficiaries of IDA loans.

“By way of explanation, the World Bank, through IDA, gives concessional loans to poor and developing countries to help them achieve improvements in growth, job creation, poverty reduction,governancecee, the environment, climate adaptation and resilience, human capital, infrastructure, and debt transparency. Nigeria is a beneficiary of IDA loans. “IDA loans are typically for tenors of 30 years to 40 years, grace period (moratorium on principal repayment) of seven years to 10 years and service fee of only 0.75 per cent.

“The highly concessional nature of IDA loans satisfies the requirements of the provision of Section 41(1)(a) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, which states that government at all tiers shall only borrow on concessional terms with low interest rate and with a reasonably long amortization period. The cost of IDA Loans, which is the service fee of 0.75 per cent, is considerable low, thereby moderating the cost of debt service. “The DMO wishes to state that Nigeria’s IDA’s Debt Stock as at June 30, 2021 was $11.7 billion. IDA loans represent one of the most favourable borrowing options for countries like Nigeria and is also consistent with the Medium Term Debt Management Strategy of the Federal Government,” it added.

 

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