The Debt Management Office (DMO) said out of Nigeria’s N25.7tn debt, external borrowing accounts for about 32 per cent while domestic borrowing accounts 68 per cent.
The Director-General of the DMO, Patience Oniha, said this when she appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts on Friday in Abuja.
She disclosed that the Federal Government was responsible for 80 per cent of the debts.
Oniha said DMO served as an advisory body to the Federal Government on debt management.
She put the debts at 25 per cent ratio to the Gross Domestic Product.
The DMO boss said the office did not receive borrowed funds, noting that they were paid directly to the Central Bank of Nigeria, which ensures that the money was used for what it was borrowed for.
Oniha said, “As of June 2019, our debt profile was N25.7tn. This includes the federal and state governments and the Federal Capital Territory. We call it the total public debt. Out of this total, the Federal Government is responsible for 80 per cent of the debt.”
She explained that the DMO began operation in 2000 due to Nigeria’s debt management problems, which made the country to seek debt relief.
Oniha said, “If you look back several years, over 85 per cent of budget deficits are funded by borrowing, which the DMO undertakes as approved by the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly.
“We borrow from various sources such as the multilaterals, the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the African Development Bank, the China-EXIM and we also issue products in the international market.
“Locally, we are also very active in domestic borrowing; we issue treasury bills and Federal Government Treasury Bonds.”
Chairman of the committee, Wole Oke, stated the importance of the parliament having all the relevant information documented.
He said the House needed additional facts and figures, following the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed’s revelations during 2020 budget defence that revenue generation was a challenge for the country.
Oke noted that the committee was determined to monitor the ministries, departments and agencies to prevent abuse of the law in the area of revenue generation and remittances.
He pointed out that even when the MDAs had the powers to spend from the revenue they generated, the lawmakers were determined to ensure transparency and accountability.