The Debt Management Office has declared that the outgoing administration of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Ret’d.), will be leaving behind a debt of ₦77 trillion.
The Director General of the DMO, Patience Oniha, said this at the “Public Presentation and Breakdown of the Highlights of the 2023 Appropriation Act” in Abuja on Wednesday, according to Pulseng.
She maintained that if the National Assembly approves the ‘securitization’ of the ₦22.7 trillion Ways and Means debt secured from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the cost of servicing the loan would significantly reduce.
She said, “The other area of the debt stock we are trying to highlight is to say, the debt stock is also growing from the issuance of promissory notes which are not true borrowing as such by the government.
“While the debt is growing because there is new borrowing, revenue is receiving significant attention.
“Like DMO always says, you can’t talk about debt without talking about revenue. We need the two to work together.”
The president had requested for the National Assembly to reconsider its position to pay an outstanding N22.7 trillion to the Central Bank of Nigeria, an accumulation from over 10 years on a federal government loan from the apex bank.
The president stated that, “Failure to grant the securitisation approval will however cost the government about N1.8 trillion in additional interest in 2023 given the differential between the applicable interest rates which is currently MPR plus three per cent and the negotiated interest rate of nine per cent and a 40-year repayment period on the securitised debt of the Ways and Means.”
The lawmakers have, however, called for details on how the money was spent, while some questioned why the amount was taken without the notice and approval of the National Assembly.
It was indeed a rowdy session, as lawmakers kicked against the request describing it as unconstitutional.
The Ways and Means are advances from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the federal government for emergency funding of delayed receipt of fiscal deficit.