‘Nigeria owes N17.36trn as external, domestic debts’

by Azeez Adeniyi

The Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Abraham Nwankwo has disclosed that the country owes $57.39 billion dollars (N17.36 trillion) as of December 31, 2016.

He said this on Thursday while defending the agency’s 2017 budget before the senate committee on local and foreign debts in Abuja.

Nwankwo said external debt profile was $11.41 billion (N3.48 trillion), while the domestic debt stock stood at $45.98 billion (N13.88 trillion).

He said the figures included debts by the Federal Government, the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

He said 80 per cent of the debts were accrued domestically by the Federal Government, State governments and Federal Capital Territory while the external debt accounted for about 20 per cent.

He said despite the recession, the economy has not weakened to warrant applying for debt relief.

“Nigeria is not in a position to beg for debt forgiveness,” he said.

“In spite of the present state of the economy, the country is still counted as a strong economy among other countries. The economic indicators show that Nigeria has a strong economy.”

He said the ministry of finance was making effort to expand the nation’s tax base as part of effort to repay the debts.

Nwankwo said people that don’t pay taxes will start to, in order to boost the revenue base.

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