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Next administration to inherit N77 trillion debt, says DMO

Nigeria debt profile is expected to hit N77 trillion as President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in five months’ time.

Patience Oniha, director general of Debt Management Office, disclosed this at the public presentation and breakdown of the highlights of the 2023 Appropriation Act in Abuja on Wednesday.

“There are a lot of discussions on the ways and means. In addition to the significant cost saving in loan service we would get by securitising it, there is an element of transparency in the sense that it is now reflected in the public debt stock,” Mrs Oniha mentioned. “Once it is passed by the National Assembly, it means we will be seeing that figure included in the public debt. You will see a significant increase in public debt to N77 trillion.”

Nigeria’s debt profile rose to over N44 trillion under Mr Buhari’s watch in September.

On Tuesday, Mr Buhari signed Nigeria’s budget into law, after the National Assembly passed the N21.83 trillion 2023 Appropriation Bill.

The budget breakdown shows the country has a total revenue N9.73 trillion, with a deficit of almost N12.00 trillion, indicating the Buhari administration will engage in massive borrowing to fund the budget.

“This budget will lead to loss of jobs, massive inflation. It will lead to a collapse of the exchange rate,” Pat Utomi, a professor of Political Economy, warned. “The reasons are very simple, this is a budget of debt service.”

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