The Federal and State governments are owing N33.11 trillion in public debts, as of March 31, according to latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Thursday.
The NBS, which stated this in its data on Nigerian domestic and foreign debt for Quarter one, 2021 (Q1 2021), added that upon disaggregation, Nigeria’s total public debt indicated that N12.47 trillion or 37.67 per cent of the debt was external, while N20.64 trillion or 62.33 per cent of the debt was domestic.
“The Federal Government’s domestic debt stock alone was put at N16.51 trillion, while states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) domestic debt stock was put at N4.12 trillion.
“Lagos state accounted for 12.31 per cent of the total domestic debt stock with N507.3 billion, while Jigawa State, with N31.7 billion, has the least debt stock in this category with a contribution of 0.77 per cent to the total domestic debt stock”, the report said.
Although the domestic debt stock for 35 states and the FCT were as at March 31, 2021, that of Rivers dates back to December 30, 2018.
To arrive at the figures, data was supplied administratively by the Debt Management Office (DMO), while the NBS verified and validated it, the report said
Meanwhile, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has justified Nigeria’s borrowing, stressing the country a poor nation with no other option to fund its activities but to borrow to fund infrastructure. He has however assured that the legislature would not be frivolous in granting Executive requests for loans.
The Senate President who was fielding questions from State House Correspondents Thursday, after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, insisted that loan requests would be subjected to thorough scrutiny to ensure they are necessary and when approved, their use would be monitored through oversight.
Lawan added that before the National Assembly proceeds on its summer break, it will consider outstanding issues which includes the president’s request for loans.
The Senate President said: “We’ll also have the loan request from Mr. President. The loan request is to fund the 2021 Appropriation Act and of course, this is not a new request