The Debt Management Office, DMO, has said Nigeria’s foreign debt was not $76 billion but $27 billion. The DMO was responding to the Freedom of Information, FoI, request by Falana & Falana law firm which, in a request dated June 20, 2020, asked it to provide information on the nation’s ‘’external loan of $76 billion.’’
“We have confirmed from the statement issued by your office on or about June 20, 2020 that as at March 31, 2020 Nigeria had taken loans worth $79.3 billion from foreign countries and institutions. “It was also disclosed that the said Chinese loan represents only about 3.94% of Nigeria’s total public debt of $79,303 as at March 31, 2020. “In view of the details of the Chinese loans of $3.1 billion which have been made available to members of the public in the said statement, we hereby request for information on the remaining foreign loans totaling $76 billion and other loans that have recently been incurred by the federal government,’’ Falana had requested.
But in its response dated August 12, DMO explained that $27.6 billion is what Nigeria currently owes externally. The foreign creditors include the World Bank, Africa Development Bank and the Exim Bank of China.
Breakdown of the debt: Multilateral: World Bank Group
International Development Association 9,689.39; International Bank for Reconstruction and Development 409.51 ‘’Africa Development Bank Group: Africa Development Bank 1,348.27; Africa Growing Together Fund 0.10; Africa Development Fund 924.90; Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa 5.88; European Development Fund 52.87; Islamic Development Fund; 26.96 International Fund for Agricultural Development, 197.8; Subtotal, 2,655.72.
Exim Bank of China-3,121.29; French Development Agency; 408.32 Japan International Cooperation Agency, 76.15; Exim Bank of India, 33.84; Germany (KFW) 201.98; Subtotal 3,841.59.
‘’Eurobonds, 10,868.35; Diaspora bond; 300.00; Subtotal 11,168.35; Grand total, 27,665.66’’ In a statement issued on June 18, 2020, the office had also explained that the country’s total public debt as of March 2020 stood at $79.3 billion, while external debt was $27.6 billion. “As at March 31, 2020, the Total Borrowing by Nigeria from China was USD3.121 billion (N1,126.68 billion at USD/N361). This amount represents only 3.94% of Nigeria’s Total Public Debt of USD79.303 billion (N28,628.49 billion at USD/N361) as at March 31, 2020. Similarly, in terms of external sources of funds, Loans from China accounted for 11.28% of the External Debt Stock of USD27.67 billion at the same date,” the statement read.