The Sovereign external debt commitments of Nigeria, comprising of The Federal Government and the 36 states of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory grew from $10.32bn in June 2015 to $22.07bn in March 2018, official statistics have shown.
This figures reflects an increase of $11.76bn or 113.94 per cent growth in the country’s external debt within 33 months. The period under analysis is within the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari, who took over the reins of government as President on May 29, 2015. In Naira terms, statistics obtained from the Debt Management Office in Abuja on showed that the country’s external loans rose from N2.03tn as of June 31, 2015 to N6.75tn as of March 31, 2018. This reflects an increase of 232.51 per cent. The difference, when the external debt is denominated in Naira, reflects the declining value that the local currency has taken since 2014 following the dwindling nation’s foreign currencies earning and retention capacity as a result of the steep fall in the price of crude oil, the main foreign exchange earner for the country.
On the home front, the domestic debt of the country rose from N10.09tn as of June 2015 to N15.96tn as of March 2018, signifying an increase of about 50% over the period under scrutiny.
There has been growing local and international concerns about the Country’s ability to pay back its mounting debt stocks.