Nigeria’s total public debt has risen to N38.005 trillion or $92.626 billion at the end of Q3’21, Debt Management Office (DMO) confirmed on Tuesday.
The debt comprises portion owed by federal, states and Federal Capital Territory (external and domestic debt) as at September 30, 2021.
By the latest figure, Nigeria’s total debt increased by N2.540 trillion when compared to the corresponding figure of N35.465 trillion at the end of Q2’21. DMO explained the increase was influenced largely by the $4 billion Eurobonds issued by the government in September 2021, a development the agency said brought economic mileage to Nigeria.
According to the debt agency, “the issuance of the $4 billion 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 $4 billion Eurobond issued in September 2021 was for the implementation of the new external borrowing of $6.18 billion in the 2021 Appropriation Act.
Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO) Ms. Patience Oniha, last week, told members of Senate Committee on Local & Foreign Debts and House Committee on Aids, Loans & Debt Management that for external borrowing, which is about $6.18 billion, the Federal Government raised $4 billion in September.
“We did have what you will call demand, which is same thing as order book or subscription of over $12 billion, but the advisers said to us, let’s drop the interest rate a bit and see how much we get and also $6 billion at once is huge.
“You know after you issue, then there’s a secondary market where they are traded, so we dropped the rate a bit and we still had demand of over $9 billion, but $4 billion was a good size to issue at once so that it doesn’t become such a surplus in the market that the price will not be very good both for the sovereign and for other borrowers.
“So for the remaining $2.18bn, we are working with the transaction advisers and monitoring the market. If we think the market is good and our supervisors say we should raise that money, we will.
But our options are on the table for the borrowing sources. We’ve done quite a lot to fund the 2020 budget,” she clarified. Similarly, the DMO boss said that provision of $15. 668 billion external borrowing in the budget buoyed local currency exchange rate.