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DMO: Nigeria’s total public debt is $79.3b, Chinese $3.1b

Says Total Borrowing by Nigeria from China was $3.121 billion

The Debt Management Office (DMO) of Nigeria has revealed that Nigeria’s total public debt stands at USD79.303 billion as at March 31, 2020.

DMO revealed this in a press statement released on its website.

The press statement was titled “Facts about Chinese loans to Nigeria“.

It stated that as at March 31, 2020, the Total Borrowing by Nigeria from China was USD3.121 billion which represents 3.94% of Nigeria’s total public debt.

DMO drew attention to statements and reports credited to several persons on the subject of Loans obtained from China.

The Debt Management Office said it considered it necessary to provide a sequel to its press release on the same subject dated September 11, 2018.

“How Much Loan has Nigeria Taken from China?” asked DMO.

It answers: “As at March 31, 2020, the Total Borrowing by Nigeria from China was USD3.121 billion.

“This amount represents only 3.94% of Nigeria’s Total Public Debt of USD79.303 billion as at March 31, 2020.

“Similarly, in terms of external sources of funds, Loans from China accounted for 11.28% of the External Debt Stock of USD27.67 billion at the same date.

“These data, show that China is not a major source of funding for the Nigerian Government.”

DMO, therefore, encouraged the general public to be guided by the facts in this press release.

On the process by which the loans were obtained, DMO stated:

“The principal process and requirements for borrowing by the Government are expressly stated in the Debt Management Office Establishment (ETC) Act, 2003 (DMO Act) and the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.

“Section 21 (1) of the DMO Act, “No External loan shall be approved or obtained by the Minister unless its terms and conditions shall have been laid before the National Assembly and approved by its resolution” and Section 41 (1a) of the FRA, “Government at all tiers shall only borrow for capital expenditure and human development, provided that, such borrowing shall be on concessional terms with low interest rate and with a reasonable long amortization period subject to the approval of the appropriate legislative body where necessary”, are instructive in this regard.”

It is noteworthy that the debt status of Nigeria when the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration took over leadership in 2015 was $33 billion.

The said debt was accumulated over a period of 14 years.

The period covers from 2001 when the then administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo cleared off Nigeria’s debt to when the President Goodluck Jonathan handed over to the President Buhari administration.

The outstanding $46 billion was accumulated between 2015 and 2020 of Buhari’s government.

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