‘Interest payments’ll increase external debt service in Q2’22’

With interest payments falling due within the period, Nigeria’s external debt service payments, which rose to N580.43 billion (or $1.44 billion) in FY’21 from N560.36 billion (or $1.51 billion) in FY’20, are likely to head further north in Q2’22, analysts at Cowry Asset Management Ltd, have said. The analysts, who made the prediction in a report released at the weekend, however, said that despite the expected increase in debt service costs, they expected that the Federal Government “is not likely to reduce its borrowing spree because of the need for cash amid subsidy payment, especially in this time of higher energy costs.” Citing data recently released by the Debt Management Office (DMO), the analysts stated that Nigeria’s total public debt stock increased year on year (y-o-y) by 20.17 per cent to N39.56 trillion as at December 2021 (from N32.92 trillion as at December 2020), noting that the y-o-y rise in the country’s total debt stock was mainly due to the increase in external debt (especially, commercial credit). They pointed out that the nation’s external debt rose y-o-y by 24.79 per cent to N15.86 trillion (or $38.39 billion at N412.99/USD) as at December 2021 from N12.71 trillion (or $33.35 billion at N381.00/USD) in December 2020, noting that within the year, the country took additional $4 billion worth of commercial loans (Eurobonds) while about $0.5 billion was paid.




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