Each Nigerian Owes N446,000 as Public Debt Increases by 118 Percent in One Year

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Nigeria’s public debt increased from about N85 trillion to N93.7 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2023. This was revealed in the Q4 debt stock report published by the National Debt Management Office (DMO) on Friday.

According to the corresponding press statement, the increase was largely due to new borrowing made by the federal government to finance the deficits in the 2024 budget. Compared to N46.52 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2022, the Nigerian debt stock has increased by 118 percent.

To estimate the debt burden on each Nigerian from this figure, FIJ calculated the debt stock per capita by dividing the total debt by the estimated population of Nigerians. The World Bank Open Data currently pegs Nigeria’s population at 218 million people.

With this figure as a basis, each Nigerian has a debt burden of N446,000.

Domestic debt accounted for about 61 percent of the total public debt stock. A significant portion of the external debt came from concessional loans and quasi-concessional loans that the federal government took in the last three months of 2023.

Meanwhile, according to the report, Lagos, Delta and Ogun states recorded the highest amount of public debt in Nigeria, according to the report. However, Ebonyi, Kebbi and Jigawa recorded the lowest debt stock with N70.44 billion, N60.69 billion and N42.76 billion, respectively.

In February, Business Day reported how, in the first nine months of 2023, debt servicing gulped about 66.9 percent of the revenue generated by the country.

According to the presidency, Nigeria is set to use N8.25 trillion to service debt in 2024. This is about 45 percent of the projected revenue and 29 percent of the projected expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year.

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