By Babajide Okeowo
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has revealed that debts owed by Nigeria to bilateral, multilateral, commercial loans from Eurobonds and Diaspora Bond stand at $31.98 billion as of September 2020.
Multilateral debts are debts owed to global or regional financial agencies and the debt stock includes those owed to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). Nigeria also owes the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the African Growing Together Fund, and African Development Fund which are under the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Other multilateral institutions being owed include the European Development Fund, Arab Bank for Economic Development, and Islamic Development Bank, among others.
The bilateral debt stock which are debts arising from country-to-country loans or loans secured by Nigeria from financial institutions belonging to other countries are those owed to the Exim Bank of China, Agence Francaise Development of France, and Japan International Cooperation Agency.
A breakdown of the DMO figures indicates that more than half of the $31.98 billion debt is owed to multilateral institutions, including the IMF, World Bank, and AfDB.
Out of $31.98 billion outstanding debt, $10.74 billion belongs to the International Development Association (IDA) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) which are affiliates of the World Bank Group.
The debt stock also shows that Nigeria owes the IMF $3.45 billion.
The IMF had in May last year released $3.4 billion in emergency financial assistance under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to support the federal government’s efforts in addressing the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 shocks and the sharp fall in oil prices.
Nigeria also owes $2.24 billion to Africa Growing Together Fund and African Development Fund; entities of the AfDB Group.
The country is also indebted to four international lenders, including the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA); Islamic Development Bank (IDB); International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and European Development Fund (EDF) $298.12 million.
Nigeria also owes five countries (China, France, Japan, India, and Germany) $4.07 million; accounting for 12.74 per cent of the nation’s external debt.
A total of $3.26 million is owed to the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China; Agence Francaise Development ($502.38 million); Japan International Cooperation Agency ($78.20 million); Exim Bank of India ($37 million) and Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbua ($193.26 million), even as Nigeria holds $10.86 billion in Eurobonds and $300 million in Diaspora bond.
Based on the figures released last Thursday by the DMO, Nigeria’s total public debt stock, which comprises the debt stock of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), the 36 state governments, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) jumped from N31.009 trillion as of June 30, 2020, to N32.223 trillion ($84.574 billion) by September 30, 2020.
Recall that worrying signals have been emerging in recent times over the rising debt profile of Nigeria.