Nigeria’s Public debt surges to N49.85 trillion, crossing $108 billion mark – DMO

  • Nigeria’s total public debt has increased to N49.85 trillion ($108.30 billion) as of March 31, 2023, up from N46.25 trillion in December 2022.
  • The recent securitized Ways and Means loans of N22.719 trillion will be included as Federal Government (FG) domestic debt from June 2023.
  • The Naira’s peg of N765 to N770 and the increase in public debt have called for a review of Nigeria’s debt situation.

Nigeria’s total public debt for the period ending March 31st, 2023 has risen to N49.85 trillion, ( $108.30 billion) from N46.25 trillion as of December 21st 2022. 

This was disclosed in a statement by the Debt Management Office, DMO on Friday evening, adding that the recently securitized Ways and Means loans of N22.719 trillion would be included as FG Domestic Debt from June 2023. 

This comes as the recent monetary policy by the Tinubu administration has seen the Naira maintain a peg of N765 to N770, calling for a review of public debt. 

DMO Statement

The statement read as follows;

“As at March 31, 2023, the Total Public Debt Stock comprising the external and domestic debts of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), the thirty-six (36) States, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was N49.85 Trillion (USD 108.30 Billion).”

“Comparatively, the Total Public Debt Stock for the preceding period, December 31, 2022, stood at N46.25 Trillion (USD 103.31 Billion). During the period, there were increases in the debt stock of the FGN, States, and the FCT.”

“The Public Debt Stock for March 2023 does not include the FGN’s N22.719 Trillion Ways and Means Advances of the Central Bank of Nigeria whose securitization was approved by the National Assembly in May 2023. The amount will be included in the FGN’s Domestic Debt Stock from June 2023.”

Nairametrics earlier reported that total public debt rose by fiat to N82 trillion following the unification of the naira. It was N73 trillion before the unification. This includes the Ways and Means provisions.


Before this recently updated debt report, Nairametrics reported in May that The Nigerian National Assembly approved the securitization of Ways and Means loans of N22.7tn. 

  • The securitized debt will have a tenor of 40 years with a moratorium on principal repayment of 3 years and an interest rate of 9% and is expected to improve debt transparency, reduce debt service costs, and help reduce the budget deficit. 
  • The Ways and Means refer to a provision that allows the government to borrow from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) if it needs short-term or emergency finance to fund delayed government expected cash receipts of fiscal deficits. 

Provisions in the act cap monetary financing of fiscal deficits at 5% of the prior year’s revenues but this has been breached by the Buhari government. To legalize the breach, the Buhari government presented a bill to the national assembly to approve the conversion of the loan into a national debt. 

Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously referred to the debt as “foreign debt” but has now been corrected.


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