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Months after recession, Nigeria’s debt stands at $70billion as at 2017

According to the DMO, Nigeria’s total national debt grew to N21.7 trillion ($70.92 billion) at the end of December 2017.

Seven months after the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Nigeria has exited its worst economic recession in more than two decades, the Debt Management Office, DMO has said the country’s debt stands at $70.92 billion as at 2017.

This is coming after the NBS said Nigeria exited recession after notching up growth of 0.55 per cent in the second quarter of 2017.

The national debt was N17.36 trillion at the end of 2016.

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Meanwhile Patience Oniha, head of the DMO, said Nigeria’s first Eurobond will be repaid when it matures in July 2018.

The national debt, according to DMO, is about 30 percent foreign and 70 percent local after a $2.5 billion Eurobond sale in February 2018.

Earlier in March 2018, Nigeria paid off about N130 billion worth of treasury bills maturing this week instead of rolling over the debt as it has done in the past, Oniha revealed.

She further said the sales of Eurobond in 2017 boosted foreign reserves by $4.8 billion, in addition to February’s $2.5 billion gain.

While Nigeria is trying to increase its ratio of foreign, dollar-serviced debt to local debt, in a bid to lower costs, the country is also expected to save N81.66 billion after it refinanced $3 billion of treasury bills.

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As at March 9, 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria said foreign reserves rose to $46 billion at the close of business.

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