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Nigeria Debt Profile Hits N25.7trn in June 2019 – DMO

-By Kenny Folarin

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has revealed that Nigeria’s total debt profile reached N25.7 trillion as at June 2019.

Patience Oniha, DMO Director-General who disclosed this over the weekend in Abuja when she appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, said the amount comprises debt by Federal, State Governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Oniha described it as the total public debt, out of which the Federal Government is responsible for 80 per cent of the debt, adding that external borrowing accounts for about 32 per cent of the total debt while the 68 per cent is domestic.

“If you look back several years, over 85 per cent of budget deficits are funded by borrowing which the DMO undertakes as approved by the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly.

“We borrow from various sources, the multilaterals, the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, the African Development Bank, China Exim and we also issue products in the international market. Locally, we are also very active in domestic borrowing, we issue treasury bills, Federal Government treasure bonds,” she explained.

According to Oniha, DMO also serves as an advisory body for the Federal Government on debt management and to put debt at 25 per cent ratio to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

She discloses that the Agency did not receive any amount borrowed as such was paid directly to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which ensured that the money was used for what was borrowed for.

In his comments, Chairman of the Committee, Wole Oke (PDP-Osun), said the parliament needed additional facts and figures following the Minister of Finance revelations during 2020 budget defence that revenue generation was a challenge in the country.

Oke stated that the Committee was determined to investigate Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and to prevent the abuse of law with regards to remittances of revenues generated even when the MDAs is mandated to spend revenue generated for the purpose of transparency and accountability.

“This country belongs to all of us, irrespective of the three arms the Constitution recognises, those in the Executives, Legislature and Judiciary are all Nigerians. “We have to synergise to ensure this country progresses”, he maintained.