• Lagos is the most indebted state in Nigeria in the first half of 2019, with total public debt at N992.38 billion.
  • The Nigerian State is taking more loans, which will see an increase in its debt profile by over 74%.
  • We looked at the top 5 most indebted states in Nigeria, using the latest Debt Management data.

Lagos is the most indebted state in both foreign and domestic borrowing in the first half of 2019, with total public debt at N992.38 billion.

Business Insider SSA's analysis of the Debt Management Office data shows that Lagos' domestic borrowings dipped by 7.35% to N479.04 billion from N517 billion recorded June 30, 2018.

Lagos state's foreign debt stood flat at $1.42 billion (N513.33 billion) in Q2 2019 when compared to the same period in 2018.

Following Lagos on the foreign debt profile is Edo state with $277.74 million while Rivers state followed on domestic borrowing with N266.94 billion, during the same period under review.

Here are the Nigerian States with highest foreign debt

  • Lagos $1.42 billion
  • Edo - $277.74 million
  • Kaduna $223.76 million
  • Cross River $192.73 million
  • Oyo - $136. 53 million.
Nigerian States with the highest foreign debt profile
Nigerian States with the highest foreign debt profile
DMO

The Nigerian States with highest domestic debt

  • Lagos N479.04 billion
  • Delta N233.56 billion
  • Rivers N266.94 billion
  • Akwa Ibom N206.41 billion
  • Cross River N168.82 billion
Nigerian states with highest domestic debt (Data: DMO)
Nigerian states with highest domestic debt (Data: DMO)

Any cause for alarm?

Despite growing concerns over the country's debt level, Nigeria's Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the challenge is not in debt level but how to raise revenue as an alternative. 

The IMF said the country’s Debt-to-GDP ratio is good but too risky.

In an Independent Day report on October 1, 2019, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) described how Nigerian state debt profiles serve as impediments to democratic values and dividends. The report observed how successive governments accumulate debts for new ones serving as obstacles for the provision of capital projects.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is taking more loan to finance 2019 budget [Twitter/@todayng]
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is taking more loan to finance 2019 budget [Twitter/@todayng]

Lagos is taking more loan

Despite the high debt profile, Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has requested approval for a loan worth N250 billion.

The new loan request will come from a fixed rate bond of N100 billion from the capital market and an internal loan of N150 billion for further fund 2019 budget.

If approved, Lagos’ total public debt profile will increase by 25%.