No cause for alarm over Nigeria’s debt profile – FG assures

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The Federal Government has assured Nigerians that there is no cause for alarm over the country’s debt profile both domestic and external as being speculated by scaremongers.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave the assurance on Monday in Lagos while briefing newsmen on the major achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for the outgoing year

Mohammed said there were misrepresentations in the figures being pushed out in certain quarters about the debt profile, adding that the country had not reached its debt ceiling of 25 per cent in total public debt stock to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“Recently, there have been concerns in certain circles about the country’s growing debt, both domestic and external.

“In the process, there has been some misrepresentations and scaremongering.

“We, therefore, believe it is important to put things in perspective, so our citizens will be well informed,’’ he said.

According to the minister, it is not correct to say that Nigeria’s external debt alone is 81.274 billion dollars.

“The public debt stock is actually a cumulative figure of borrowings by successive governments over many years.

“It is, therefore, not appropriate to attribute the public debt stock to one administration.

“Nigeria’s total public debt stock in 2015 was 63.80 billion dollars comprising 10.31 billion dollars of external debt and 53.49 billion dollars domestic debt.

“By June 2019, the total debt stock was 83.883 billion dollars, made up of 27.163 billion dollars of external debt and 56.720 billion dollars domestic debt,’’ he clarified

Mohammed said there was no cause for alarm because Nigeria had a debt ceiling of 25 per cent in the total public debt stock to Gross Domestic Product (Debt/GDP), which it had operated within.

He said the ratio for Dec. 31, 2018, and June 30, 2019, were 19.09 per cent and 18.99 per cent respectively.

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