The federal government has confirmed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is being owed N20 trillion ($47 billion), which is yet to be added to the country’s outstanding public debt, according to a report by the Budget Office of the Federation. This is coming as a think-tank backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is seeking $50 billion in aid to help debt-ridden African countries re-enter capital markets and avoid future defaults. The debt figure was as of July 31, the Budget Office said, in a document, which gave the details of the country’s expenditure plans from 2023-2025. The document was posted on the Budget Office’s website at the weekend. Nigeria’s outstanding public debt is N41.6 trillion.
Even with the additional obligations, the country remains “within Nigeria’s self-imposed” limit of 40 per cent debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the report quoted by Bloomberg. The government plans to securitise its Ways and Means Advances (WMAs) from the CBN and revamp “it into a longer tenor amortising facility with a lower interest rate,” according to the Budget Office.
The country barely earned enough revenues to cover debt service payments in 2021, according to the budget office while in the first four months to April, government income of N1.63 trillion was less than the N1.94 trillion needed to cover debt-service payments,
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said, according to a presentation on the budget office’s website. While the debt portfolio remains vulnerable to revenue and export shocks, “the challenges are being addressed by the government through its ongoing strategic revenue growth initiatives,” the report added. Meanwhile, a think-tank backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is seeking $50 billion in aid to help debt-ridden African countries re-enter capital markets and avoid future defaults.