Subsidy, borrowing increase Buhari’s debt for next government to N77trn

NIGERIA’S petroleum subsidy payments and government’s borrowings to fund budget deficits would see President Muhammadu Buhari leave a huge debt of N77 trillion for the incoming administration in May 2023.

The Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, gave this information on Wednesday, January 4 during a public presentation on the 2023 budget.

Oniha, on the sidelines of the presentation, told journalists that if the National Assembly (NASS) approved the ‘securitisation’ of the ₦22.7 trillion Ways and Means debt secured from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the cost of servicing the loan would significantly reduce.

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She mentioned issuance of promissory notes as another component that had spiked Nigeria’s debt stock.

The Director-General explained the debt had been growing because of new borrowings, although revenue generation, she pointed out, had been receiving significant attention.

“Like DMO always says, you can’t talk about debt without talking about revenue. We need the two to work together,” she said.



    Oniha noted that the total debt stock would be made up of ₦44.06 trillion by the third quarter of 2022; ₦22.7 trillion Ways and Means borrowed from the CBN; projected new borrowings of ₦10.57 captured in the 2023 budget; and issuance of promissory notes.

    In a similar submission at the budget breakdown yesterday, the Finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, said the Federal government spent N5.24 trillion on debt servicing alone between January and November 2022, out of its N12.87 trillion total spending for the same period.

    According to her, domestic debts gulped N2.51 trillion, foreign debts N1.08 trillion, and interest on Ways and Means, N1.64 trillion.

    President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday January 3 requested the National Assembly to reconsider its position on his request to pay an outstanding N22.7 trillion to the CBN borrowed through Ways and Means.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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