The Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, has said the cumulative sum of N32.9 trillion debt of Nigeria is a responsibility of the federal and state governments.
In a series of tweets on her official twitter account, Oniha said comments made on the level of Nigeria’s public debt necessitated the need to clarify on the figures published by DMO.
According to her, “It is useful to state that the Public Debt figures published by DMO are the Debt Stock of the FGN, the 36 states and the FCT,” thus the debt is not owned by the federal government alone.
Recall that the DMO had placed Nigeria’s debt profile at December 2020 at N32.9tr. The figure, it said, was driven up due to fallen oil revenue since 2015 and the economic fallout from the COVID-19.
“The debt is not only that of the FGN as the FGN, state governments and the FCT have all been borrowing. At the Federal level, the increased level of borrowing since 2015 was due to the collapse in revenues from crude oil. The level of New Borrowing started trending downwards from 2018 up to the first 2020 Appropriation Act.
“Unfortunately, the adverse impact of COVID-19 on revenues and increased spending, have resulted in higher levels of borrowing,” she said.
She stressed that while DMO uses Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) and Medium Term Management Strategy (MTDS) to manage public debt and ensure that Nigeria’s public debt is sustainable with borrowing done at the lowest possible cost, growth in revenues is a key focus of fiscal authorities.