The Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Monday, December 16, expressed fears over the increasing rate of the nation’s domestic debt, and stated that about 19.87% of the country’s projected revenue for 2014 would be spent on debt servicing.
Okonjo-Iweala, who was briefing the private sector on the performance of the economy at a breakfast dialogue organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group in Lagos, however, said the ratio of the nation’s public debt to the Gross Domestic Product was still at a moderate level.
She said the government had projected to spend a whopping sum of N712bn on debt servicing in 2014, up from N495bn spent on debt servicing in 2011.
The amount, she noted, represented about 19.87% of the N3.583tn revenue projected in the 2014 budget.
According to her, the sums of N559.5bn and 591.8bn were spent on debt servicing in 2012 and 2013 respectively, and represented debt service to-revenue ratio of 15.71% and 14.43% respectively.
According to a presentation made by Okonjo-Iweala at the meeting, Nigeria’s public debt stock as of September 30, 2013 was N8.32tn ($53.42bn), of which external debt stock represented N1.287tn ($8.26bn) while the domestic debt stock was N7.032bn ($45.15bn).
The Federal Government plans to spend a mind-boggling N2.08tn to service its debts in the next three years.