DMO – At end Of 2017,Debts Rose To N21.7tr
…Up By N4.4tr In One Year
Nigeria’s total national debt grew to N21.7 trillion ($70.92 billion) at the end of December 2017, the Director General of Nigeria’s Debt Management Office told a news briefing on Wednesday. It was N17.36 trillion at the end of 2016.
Nigeria’s first Eurobond will be repaid when it matures in July, said the head of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha. The national debt mix is about 30 per cent foreign and 70 per cent local after a $2.5bn Eurobond sale in February, she said.
Earlier this month, Nigeria paid off about N130bn worth of treasury bills maturing this week instead of rolling over the debt as it had done in the past.
Nigeria, with Africa’s largest economy, is trying to increase its ratio of foreign, dollar-serviced debt to local debt, in a bid to lower costs.
Eurobond sales last year boosted foreign reserves by $4.8bn, in addition to February’s $2.5bn gain, Oniha said.
Nigeria is also expected to save N81.66bn after it re-financed $3bn of treasury bills, she said.
Last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said foreign reserves rose to $46bn at the close of business on March 9.
Successful debt sales and higher oil prices have helped the government accrue billions of dollars in foreign reserves, although they remain far from the peak of $64bn reached in August, 2008. (Reuters)