Government allays fears over $44 billion external debt

DESPITE exiting the Paris Club debt conundrum in 2005 when her $36 billion unsustainable external debt was cancelled, Nigeria’s total debt stock now stands at $44 billion. The situation has elicited criticism from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which decried the country’s rising external debt, saying “it negates everything the Federal Government told Nigerians when it paid $12 billion to get a debt relief of $18 billion in 2005.” But, according to the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, there is no cause for alarm once the economy continues to grow and the volume of economic activity steadily rises in a sustainable manner.

According to the DMO chief, all the outside world needs to know to make a fitting business decisions about Nigeria is how dynamic the Nigerian economy is nothing more. He spoke at the end of the Nigeria Non-Deal Road show investment presentation in Boston, Massachusetts after an earlier meet-the-Investors programme in New York, United States (U.S.) where Nigerian officials, including a team from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) demonstrated why American investors should take advantage of new opportunities in Nigeria’s infrastructure, agriculture, and oil and gas sectors.

The breakdown of Nigeria’s total debt stock as at March this year shows in dollar terms, an external figure of 5.6 billion while externally incurred debt (domestic) stood at 38 billion. Approximately 86 per cent of Nigeria’s total debt is in local currency with the largest debt instrument being the bonds owned by the Federal Government.


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