The Debt Management Office (DMO) has put Nigeria’s total debt ( external and domestic debt) as at the end of September this year, at $40 billion. Director-General, DMO, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, who disclosed this at the weekend in an interactive session with journalists in Lagos, however allayed fears that the country’s debt profile had risen astronomically.
A breakdown of the figure by Nwankwo, showed that whereas the country’s total external debt stood at $5.6 billion, its domestic debt was N5.3 trillion ($34.4 billion). He argued that the total debt figure at 19.6 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was sustainable. Nwankwo explained: “Now, the global standard for all countries that are in our peer group is that you total debt to GDP should be about 40 per cent. That is the global standard. We did not set the standard and we are at 19.6 per cent. So, if you ask me, I will say that in view of the benchmark, we are doing very well in terms of being comfortable to be within the sustainable limit. However, even though the global standard is 40 per cent, Nigeria had set for itself, a limit of 25 per cent. So even if you look at that, we are still below the standard we set for ourselves.