The head of Nigeria’s Debt Management Office said Nigeria’s total public debt could rise to 77 trillion naira ($172 billion) this year from 44 trillion last September, after swapping loans for bonds and new loans to finance the 2023 budget.
Last week, the Senate delayed a resolution on the president’s request to convert $53 billion in temporary loans to the government from the central bank into 40-year bonds after some lawmakers questioned the plan.
“If this is approved sometime this year … that means you will see that number included in the public debt,” said Patience Onyeha, head of the debt administration.
President Muhammadu Buhari this week signed the 21.83 trillion naira 2023 budget into law and said the country will pay 1.8 trillion naira ($4 billion) in additional interest this year if parliament rejects the request to swap the loan into bonds.
Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said the total public debt would rise to 35.3 percent of GDP from 22.97 percent with the transfer of the loan.
Ahmed said the new transfer and borrowing would raise the domestic debt to 70 percent of the total public debt in 2023 from 61.1 percent now.