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Nigeria's foreign debt stood at $25.27 billion in 2018: NBS

By The Rainbow
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Nigeria's foreign debt stood at 25.27 billion US dollars as at 31st Dec., 2018, the  National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.

In its “Nigerian Domestic and Foreign Debt data” for fourth quarter, 2018 posted on its website, the bureau said further dis-aggregation of country's foreign debt showed that 11.01 billion dollars of the debt was multilateral.

This shows that the country’s debt profile has grown to level that draws concern from perceptible economic experts, after it got itself out of the debttrap by liquidating over $28 foreign debt overhang through a negotiated debt reprieve programme with Paris and London clubs of creditors under former President Olusegun Obasanjo regime in 2006.

Though the Federal Government through the Vice President Yemi Osinabjo recently dismissed concerns about the nation’s growing debt profile, the  International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday raised concern over the risk of rollovers for Nigerian debt and potential challenge in meeting the needs for refinancing.

Osinbajo said that Nigeria has one of the debt to GDP ratio in the world, but he did not mention the comparative nations and how Nigeria compares with those countries in productivity.

According to NBS report,  34.63 million dollars was bilateral from Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) and another 2.75 billion dollars bilateral from the Chinese Exim Bank, Japanese International Cooperation Agency, KFW Development Bank and India.

In addition, the report said 11.17 billion dollars was commercial which were basically Eurobonds and Diaspora Bonds.

According to the report, Lagos State has the highest foreign debt profile among the 36 states and the FCT, accounting for 5.64 per cent.

It said Edo was the second highest debtot-state, accounting for 1.09 per cent, followed by Kaduna (0.90 per cent) and Cross River with 0.75 per cent.

Similarly, the bureau said total domestic debt was N16.63 trillion in the quarter under review.

It said Lagos State accounted for 3.19 per cent of the total domestic debt stock while Yobe State had the least debt stock in this category with a contribution of 0.17 per cent to the total domestic debt stock.

The data for the report was supplied administratively by the Debt Management Office, verified and validated by the NBS.