Akwa Ibom State has joined the top five of the leading debtor-states in the country, according to the latest statistics obtained from the Debt Management Office (DMO) website.
Data from the DMO shows that Akwa Ibom is indebted to the tune of N237,404,479,750.88.
However, Lagos State leads the debt profile with N441,668,732,162.26; Rivers is next with N266,936,225,793.65, while Delta and Cross River states follow with N230,574,799,366.01 and N167,967,705,888.45 respectively.
Apart from the top five, Imo with (N148,900,627,563.76); Osun (N141,792,935,913.24); Ogun (N140,993,426,875.02); FCT (N137,862,316,926.60); Bayelsa (N127,243,132,172.38 and Kogi (N123,436,748,898.43) are other leading debtor-states.
In all, the leading debtor-states accounted for more than N1.344 trillion of the more than N4 trillion domestic debt standing against the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as at September 30, 2019, as contained in the DMO website.
On geo-political basis, the six South-South states lead with the highest aggregate debt of N1,113,311,886,960.1 followed by the South-West with N957,158,703,679.04.
Next on geo-political basis is the North-Central (N510,790,349,558.25; North-West, which has the highest number of states in the country (seven) is next with N484, 867,921,659.82 followed by North-East and the five South-East states with N480,890217,532.59 and N357,513,205,096.01 respectively.
Yobe and Anambra States have the least debt burden. Yobe’s debt stands at N28,533,478,934.83, while Anambra has N34,007,803,458.86.
Nigeria’s total debt stock (local and foreign) as at September 30, 2019 was N26.2 trillion with the federal government accounting for over N9 trillion of the almost N14 trillion domestic debt stock.
Domestic debt service gulps N606b in Q3
The federal government spent a total of N606.869 billion to service domestic debt in the third quarter of 2019, the DMO data revealed.
A breakdown of domestic service indicates that the government spent N202,538,970,831.25; N172,663,065,962.98 and N231,667,076,449.72 in July, August and September respectively.
They included interest paid on Federal Government of Nigeria Savings Bonds (FGNSB), Nigeria Treasury Bills (NTBs), FGN Sukuk, Federal Government Bonds and Treasury Bonds.
But government’s plan to ease pressure from domestic creditors through the use of Promissory Notes, which are sovereign debt instruments, may not be getting the desired result.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had in April last year approved a N3.4 trillion Promissory Note programme to settle local debts and contractual obligations of the federal government.
However, about nine months after FEC approval, investigations revealed that the executive arm of government is yet to seek the endorsement of the Promissory Notes Programme from the National Assembly.