Nigeria: Whether or not you read this, you owe ₦405,520

THE notion that Nigeria’s economy is grappling to survive with a high inflation rate, increased poverty and debt profile is no longer new. However, what is new is that each Nigerian owes ₦405,520.

The increased public debt stock is coming four months after President Bola Tinubu and 18 new governors were sworn into office in May 2023. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), as of the end of September 2023, Nigeria’s public debt stock stood at N87.91 trillion.

See also: Whether or not you read this, you still owe ₦102,000

The total external debt stood at N31.98 trillion, while the total domestic debt was N55.93 trillion in Q3 2023.

If the debt per capita is calculated, with a population projection figure of 216,783,381, each Nigerian would owe N405,520.02.

The ICIR reported how each Nigerian owed N396,376.19 in terms of debt per capita when the country’s public debt stock was N87.38 trillion as of June 2023. This would mean that N9,143.81 was added to Nigerians’ debt within three months.

Assuming all Nigerians are to repay this money using the minimum wage of N33,000, the debt would be repaid in about 13 months.




    Amid the increased debt, 133 million people in the country are living in different categories of poverty while the country’s inflation has risen to its highest record of 28.92 per cent at the end of December 2023.

    A development economist and Associate Consultant to the British Department for International Development, (DFID), Celestine Okeke, told The ICIR that Nigerians are paying more for their consumables because of rising inflation due to these borrowings.

    He added, “It is putting pressure on the value of our naira. Let’s just hope that the inflation will moderate this year as promised by the CBN as more refineries become functional.”

    Image by Rilson S. Avelar from Pixabay

    Kehinde Ogunyale tells stories by using data to hold the government into account. Shoot him a mail at [email protected] or Twitter: Prof_KennyJames

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