By Kadiri Abdulrahman
A financial expert, Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, has urged the media and other stakeholders to always get the right information about Nigeria’s debt profile before disseminating it.
Unegbu, a past president of the Chattered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
According to Unegbu, spreading false information about the debt situation and the economy in general can lead to negative reactions from global rating agencies and also make the economy vulnerable.
He said that the Debt Management Office (DMO) was saddled with the responsibility to centrally coordinate the management of Nigeria’s debt.
“Any enquiry about the Nigerian debt situation should be directed to the DMO, which is statutorily responsible for managing the country’s debt.
“Sometimes, a visit to the website of the DMO is all that is needed to get all required information about the Nigerian debt situation,” he said.
He said that there was the need to protect the financial market as well as the economy from the ripple effects of misinformation and fake news.
NAN reports that Nigeria’s total public debt stock hit N87.91 trillion (114.35 billion dollars) in Sept. 2023, according to the latest figures from the DMO.
The DMO said that the amount represented the domestic and external debts of the Federal Government, the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The N87.91 trillion total debt stock represents a marginal increase of 0.61 per cent when compared to the June figure of N87.38 trillion.
The DMO said that this trend was explained by the decrease in external debt from 43.16 billion dollars as at June 30, 2023 to 41.59 billion dollars as at Sept. 30, 2023.
It said that there was also a relatively moderate increase of N1.80 trillion in the domestic debt.
“External debt decreased due to a redemption of 500 million dollars Eurobond.
“It also decreased due to the payment of 413.959 million dollars as first principal repayment of the N3.4 billion dollars loan obtained from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2020 during COVID-19,” it said.
It said that the servicing of all the debts is a clear demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment to honouring its debt obligations.
It said that President Bola Tinubu’s revenue generation initiatives remained important to Nigeria’s overall fiscal balance. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams