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YOU NEWS editorial :$81.27 billion public debt profile worrisome. Urgent need for well-structured public loans

Nigeria’s total public debt of $81.27 billion has been described as unfortunate and worrisome.

Latest report from Debt Management Office (DMO) put Nigeria’s total public debt at $81.27 billion as at the end of March 2019.

The pile up of the nation’s public debt, as a huge chunk of the annual budget is now set aside for debt servicing.

This has impacted negatively on the economy, as the country is now littered with abandoned projects and dearth of infrastructural facilities.

The situation has been compounded by the fact that it has become increasingly difficult to meet up with debt servicing obligation.

According to the DMO, the external debt that stood at $10.32 billion in June 2015 rose to $25 billion by March this year, an increase of $15.3 billion.

And as if that was not enough, Nigeria had just received $3 billion from the World Bank to fix its power sector, in addition to $2.4 billion it borrowed from the same bank last year, while over $5 billion is also being sought from China for railway projects.

“The situation at the state level is not different as the domestic debt of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as at the end of March 2019, stood at N3.792 trillion ($10.53 billion) according to the same Report by the DMO.”

There is the urgent need for the country to give in to well-structured public loans that will only be for projects of utmost national importance and for which expected revenues accruable from such projects will be able to repay the loans without saddling coming generations with irredeemable debt burden.

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