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HomeFinanceNigeria's Debt Burden Swells as Country Borrowed $5 Billion in Q1 2024

Nigeria’s Debt Burden Swells as Country Borrowed $5 Billion in Q1 2024

Nigeria’s Debt Management Office (DMO) revealed yesterday that Nigeria’s debt portfolio has expanded significantly, with the country borrowing N7.71 trillion (U.S.$5 billion) in the first quarter of 2024 alone.

The breakdown shows N2.81 trillion (U.S.$1.85 billion) from new domestic borrowing planned for 2024, and N4.90 trillion (U.S.$3.23 billion) from converting previously approved Central Bank loans (Ways and Means Advances) into tradable securities.

Some local media had reported that Nigeria’s fresh borrowing figure is N24.33 trillion (U.S.$16 billion), but the DMO clarified that the actual new debt is N7.71 trillion, much lower than the previously reported N24.33 trillion.

However, Nigeria’s total public debt did rise to N121.67 trillion (U.S.$80.3 billion) in Q1 2024, up from N97.34 trillion (U.S.$64.24 billion) in Q4 2023. This substantial borrowing has raised concerns about the nation’s growing debt burden and its potential impact on the economy.

The DMO attributed a portion of this increase to naira devaluation, which inflated the value of external debt denominated in foreign currencies. The exchange rate plummeted from N899.39/U.S.$1 in Q4 2023 to N1,330.26/U.S.$1 in Q1 2024, representing a significant depreciation of 32.39 percent.

—Ezinwanne Onwuka reports for TruthNigeria from Abuja.

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