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Public debt: Experts outraged by 150 percent rise


Notable Economists and leading investment experts, yesterday, in Abuja, expressed anger and bitterness over the county’s rising public debt, saying that the situation could lead the country back into a vicious cycle of debt overhang.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) had, in a report, indicated that the country’s public indebtedness has jumped from N6.537tr in 2012 to N21.725tr as at the end of December last year, representing over 150 per cent rise.

Specifically, within the current dispensation from 2015 to December 31 2017, the total debt stock has risen by about 9.122tr, that is from N12.603tr in 2015 to N21.725tr in 2017. 

Furthermore, the rising curve indicates that the domestic component, which now stands at N12.589tr, has grown by N3.753tr during the period under review, up from N8,836tr in 2015, while the foreign part grew by $7.195b, rising from $10.78b in 2015, to a new height of $18.913b at the end of December 2017. 

The experts are pained at the cost implication of interest and service charge, which cost of domestic debt component alone standing at N12.589tr has risen from N720.549b to a frightening N1.476tr by 2017 ending, even as the DMO Director General, Ms. Patience Oniha, said the new debt strategy has reduced the cost of borrowing by more than half, from 18 to 7 per cent interest rate.

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