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Nigeria’s Debt Hits N22.43trn, 85.06% Increase Under Buhari, Domestic Component 70.51%

                                File Photo: Naira and Dollars

Everest Amaefule, Abuja

 

Nigeria’s total debt now stands at N22.43tn, data obtained from the Debt Management Office have shown.

According to the DMO, the nation’s total debt as of September 30, 2018, stood at N22.43tn.

As of June 30, 2015, the country’s total debt stood at N12.12tn. This means that within the tenure of the present administration which came to power on May 29, 2015, the country’s total debt has risen by N10.31tn or 85.06 per cent.

Of the total debt, the external component of both the Federal Government and state governments’ debts including that of the Federal Capital Territory stood at $21.59bn.

As of June 30, 2015, the external debt component of the country’s total debt stood at $10.32bn. This means that the external debt component rose by $11.27bn or 109.21 per cent.

On the other hand, the omestic debt of both the Federal Government and the subnational governments stood at N15.81tn.

Analysing the debt statistics further showed that the domestic debt of the Federal Government alone stood at N12.29tn as of September 30, 2018.

The domestic debt of the Federal Government as of June 30, 2015, stood at N8.4bn while that of the states and FCT stood at N1.69tn.

The DMO added that the debt statistics as of September 30, 2018, was only slightly different from the statistics as of June 30, 2018.

On the difference between the debt statistics of the two quarters, the DMO said, “External debt declined by 2.02 per cent to $21.59bn due largely to the redemption by Nigeria of a $500m Eurobond which matured on July 12, 2018.

“The Eurobond which was issued for a tenor of five years in 2013 was the first Eurobond maturity for Nigeria and Nigeria’s ability to repay it seamlessly boosted Nigeria’s position as a good credit in the International Capital Market.

“The domestic debt of the FGN, states and the FCT grew by 1.19 per cent from N15.63tn in June 2018 to N15.8tn in September 2018. This increase of N185bn was attributed to the FGN (N135bn) and states and FCT (N50bn).”

It added, “The combination of an increase in the level of domestic debt and a decrease in the external debt stock resulted in a slight shift in the portfolio composition.

“As of September 30, 2018, the share of domestic debt was 70.51 per cent compared to 69.83 per cent in June 2018.

“This trend is expected to be reversed in Quarter Four 2018 as the new external borrowing of N849bn (about $2.78bn) provided in the 2018 Appropriation Act is expected to be raised within the quarter.”

The current strategy of the Federal Government is to raise external debt component to 40 per cent and to raise the local debt component to 60 per cent in order to take advantage of the lower interest rate on foreign debts.  (Punch)

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SHOCKING: Mother Of Four-year-old Girl Sells For Her N100 |The Republican News

By Uchenna Inya ABAKALIKI

A four-year-old girl in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state Uloma Igwe has been sold to a widow, Nwali Josephine for N100.

The girl’s mother, Veronica Igwe owed Nwali Josephine N100 during a transaction at Abakaliki Rice Mill.

The woman insisted that she must be paid the money and Veronica Igwe decided to use one of her children in exchange for the money pending when she will pay back.

Nwali then took Uloma to her house at CAS campus of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki where she has been since nine months.

However, the bubble burst when the girl became seriously sick with a swollen stomach.

A resident of the area contacted the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Ministry who stormed Nwali’s house and rescued the girl.

The ministry is currently making preparations to take Uloma to a hospital for medical treatment.

Nwali was summoned by the Ministry and handed over to the police.

Mrs Elom Cecilia in charge of child maltreatment at the Ministry confirmed the incident.

“It is child abuse and exploitation because the poor girl did not transact any business with her. This is a serious child abuse

“We received a call that a woman called Nwali Josephine was maltreating children. We hastened up immediately and went to the scene and saw the children. One of the children is four years. Her biological mother, Veronica Igwe told us that she doesn’t even know the woman should sell her child.

“She told us that she met the woman at Rice mill Abakaliki and bought something on credit from the woman. She said she could not pay the
woman N100 that was remaining and suggested to the woman to take her child if she cannot endure for her to pay her the money and the woman accepted to take the child.

“We invited the Mrs Veronica to our office and she honoured our invitation. After interviewing her, we handed her over to the police for further investigation. The child has not been united to his parents because he is sick. We are taking her to the hospital for because her condition is very bad.

On his part, Director of Child Welfare and Protection in the Ministry, Godwin Igwe described it as child trafficking.

The child was placed in debt bondage and it is one of the criteria for human trafficking. The woman who took this girl for N100 debt is a
widow, she gave birth to a baby last Saturday and she has three children already before the present baby”, he said.   (New Telegraph)

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350 Businessmen Owe Banks N2.5 trillion, Says AMCON |The Republican News

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The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has said at least 350 individuals in the country currently owe banks N2.5 trillion.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AMCON, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, disclosed this at a Retreat for House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency in Enugu yesterday.

He told the committee members that the corporation’s recent assessment of obligors as at December 31, 2016, identified 350 accounts with current exposure of N2.5 trillion, representing about 80 percent of AMCON’s total obligor debt.

The amount, according to him, was enough to cover the 2017 budget deficit.

He said: “AMCON has also repositioned its debt recovery approach to strengthen legal and credit restructuring units to collaborate on the aforementioned 350 ‘loan defaulters,’ enhance the restructuring and turnaround team and engage in asset tracing to enhance recovery. Despite the difficulties, AMCON continues to persevere in the face of adversity.”

Providing additional insight into AMCON challenges, Kuru said the corporation’s failure to recover the debt, principally owed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), cannot be quantified as it goes beyond economic cost.

He said AMCON debt repayments to CBN in the last two years were N456.4 billion and N517.7 billion, respectively, while the actual payments were N256.7 billion and N191.1 billion in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

The AMCON chief added: “This translates to a funding shortfall of N199.7 billion and N326.4 billion in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Of this shortfall, repayments due from AMCON in 2015 and 2016 represented 42 per cent and 53 per cent, respectively, while the resolution cost fund represented 58 per cent and 47 per cent in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The funding plan envisaged contribution of 70 percent from the resolution cost fund and 30 percent from recovery.”  (The Sun)

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Nigeria’s Revenue Can’t Sustain Interest Payment On Debt, Says World Bank

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World Bank President Jim Yong Kim

Everest Amaefule, Abuja

Although Nigeria’s total current debt is relatively low compared to the Gross Domestic Product, the interest rate payment is not sustainable by current revenues, the World Bank has said.

Senior Economist at World Bank office in Nigeria, Yue Man Lee, said this in Abuja on Wednesday on the sideline of the release of the 15th edition of Africa’s Pulse, an analysis of issues shaping the continent’s economic future.

For the interest payment to be sustainable, according to Lee, the country either has to increase its revenues or work towards balancing the debt profile to make way for more foreign debt rather than allow the continued dominance of local debt with high interest rates.

She said, “Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio is relatively low. What is of concern is the ratio of interest payment to revenue. That is what is concerning. This reflects the fact that there has been a massive drop in revenues because of the drop in oil revenues.

“There are two main strategies to reduce this debt burden. One is to increase the revenues. Here, in order not to be vulnerable to the volatility of the oil sector, the critical thing is to increase the non-oil revenues like the VAT, the income taxes and the excises outside of oil. This is something we have been discussing with the government about.”

Lee added, “The other area in terms of interest payment is to look at the debt profile. Right now, most of the debt is domestic debt – short term domestic debt – and so, the government has already expressed the strategy to move towards external longer-term debt. You have seen them issuing Eurobonds successfully as part of that strategy.

“The key thing for us in terms of sustainability of the debt profile is raising revenues. That is just the key thing.”

Lee also spoke on the nation’s continuing foreign exchange crisis, saying that further liberalisation could lead to depreciation of the naira, but predicted recovery after a short while.

She stated, “Once it is liberalised, the market will determine the exchange rate. We don’t know exactly what the exchange rate will be. Possibly, it will depreciate further; but then, it may adjust back. These are the forces of demand and supply.

“If the exchange rate depreciates further than what it is at the interbank, there could be some inflationary impact. I think we should bear in mind that right now, a lot more of large scale transactions are possibly done outside of the official interbank exchange rate.”

The World Bank official added, “If a number of transactions are being carried out using the parallel exchange rate, the prices have already been incorporated into the current selling prices. So, it’s a question of how much of inflation impact.

“The second thing to note is that the government has chosen to manage the inflation impact, namely monetary policy. So, that is why the IMF recommended further flexibility in the exchange rate regime with tightening of the monetary policy.”  (Punchng.com)

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