By Uche Mbah
Nigeria’s total debt overhang in the first quarter of the year rose to N24.9 trillion, adding N460 billion in the first quarter of 2019 alone, with indications that Government still has intentions of borrowing more in the coming months.
Buhari is said to be shopping for donors to Finance the 2019 budget, even though the budget implementation has remained abysmally low.
“We intend to fund the 2019 budget through borrowing locally and internationally with a spread of 50:50. Our focus is on concessionary long-term loans,” the finance minister, Zainab Ahmed had said.
Even the 2018 budget was marred by piecemeal release of funds by the government. Only Salaries were paid, and most releases hovered between 40% and 45%, slowing down implementation. President Buhari, however, had said the Budget implementation was 67%. The budget was a N9 trillion affair, which is $25bn, using the official rate of N360 per dollar. This is meant to serve an estimated 200 million people.
According to figures released by the Debt Management Office, DMO, external debt overhang stood at N7.8 trillion ($25.6 billion) while domestic debt was N17 trillion ($55.6 billion). Domestic Debt grew by N458.363 Billion, but this was recorded “in the domestic debt stock of the FGN, states and the FCT”, the DMO stated. “The domestic debt stock for five states, (Anambra, Borno, Ebonyi, Ekiti and Lagos) were as at December 31, 2018, and the domestic debt stock figure for Rivers state was as at September 30, 2018.”
External debt experienced an upward spiral by N101.646 billion during the period under review..