Nigeria Debt Now N7.5trillion —DMO

Nigeria Debt Now N7.5trillion —DMO

Nigeria's domestic and external debts stood at a N7.5 trillion as of December 31, 2012.

Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr Abraham Nwankwo, disclosed this on Monday at the sideline of a two-week seminar on Sub national Debt Sustainability Analysis/ Portfolio Review Training Programme for officers of Debt Management Departments (DMD) in states.

According to the Director-General, the external debt of Nigeria, as of December 31, 2012 stood at $6.5 billion (N1.040 trillion), while the domestic debt within the same period was N6.5 trillion.

Dr Nwankwo stated that the concern of the government was not the size of the debt, but the use to which these loans were deployed to.

He said the government, in line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, was laying emphasis on value for money and the ability of the loans to generate employment, create wealth and enhance economic growth.

On the sustainability of the debt, the DMO boss stated that the debt ratio was about 19.4 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product and far below the 40 percent threshold of countries in the same pedestal with Nigeria.

Going down the memory lane, the DMO boss stated that a five-year programme was drawn out for all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory to have Debt Management Departments (DMD) in their domains.

He said by December 31, 2012, all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory had established DMD in their domains.

Dr Nwankwo said the two-week seminar, which commenced on Monday, was being organised to equip the staff in the DMDs to be able to grasp the full knowledge of what they were expected to do in the discharge of their duties.

At the end of the seminar, he said the DMD staff would be in the best stead to prepare debt sustainability analysis for their respective states, noting that the overall objective was to ensure debt sustainability in states.

For effective debt analysis, Dr Nwankwo solicited the support of the DMD staff to ensure that data needed were promptly released to the DMO as at when needed.

The DMO boss stressed the need for the officers to liaise well with the governors, directors and others that would boost their activities in carrying out their jobs.

On the issue of state debts, Dr Nwankwo said the DMO had been able to reconstruct the domestic debts of states, adding that very soon the results would be made known to the public.

Also, he said the DMO was in possession of a comprehensive public debt data of the federal government and the states.

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