The domestic debts owed by state governments and the Federal Capital Territory rose to N4.19tn at the end of the third quarter of 2020, with Lagos, Rivers and Akwa Ibom as the three most indebted, according to the latest data from the Debt Management Office.
The N4.19tn debt represents 20.91 per cent of the country’s domestic debt stock of N20.04tn as of Q3 2020, up from N19.65tn in the previous quarter.
The DMO data showed that subnational governments’ domestic debts increased by N484.24m in Q3 2020, while that of the Federal Government rose by N390bn to N15.85tn.
Lagos and four oil-producing states – Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Cross River – emerged as the top five debtors, with a combined domestic debt stock of about N1.40tn.
The five states accounts for 33.41 per cent of the total domestic debt owed by the subnational governments in the country as of September 30, 2020.
Lagos owed N493.32bn as of Q3 2020, accounting for 11.77 per cent of subnational governments’ total domestic debt.
Rivers has a domestic debt stock of N266.94bn, which represents 6.37 per cent of the country’s subnational domestic debt stock.
Akwa Ibom’s domestic debt stood at N239.21bn, representing 5.71 per cent of the total domestic debts owed by subnational governments as of Q3 2020.
Delta accounts for 5.63 per cent of the total subnational domestic debt, as it owed N235.86bn as of September 30, 2020.
Cross River has a domestic debt stock of N164.10bn. This represents 3.92 per cent of the subnational domestic debt stock.
Other states with high domestic debts include Imo, with a debt of N158.17bn; Ogun, N150.09bn; Bayelsa, N147.89bn; Osun, N134.89bn; and Benue, N128.50bn.
Others are Plateau, with a domestic debt stock of N127.01bn; Taraba, N122.75bn; Kano, N116.99bn; Adamawa, N116.89bn; and Oyo, N99.94bn.
The states with the least domestic debt stocks include Yobe, with a debt of N29.23bn; Jigawa, N36.04bn; Ebonyi, N41.27bn; Katsina, N44.42bn; and Sokoto, N48.09bn.
Others are Anambra, N59.01bn; Nasarawa, N61.29bn; Enugu, N62.44bn; Kwara, N63.37; and Niger, N65.60bn.
The DMO had on Thursday disclosed that the nation’s total public debt stock rose by N1.21tn in Q3 2020 to N32.22tn amid revenue shortfalls.
The domestic debt of N20.04tn comprised 62.19 per cent of the total public debt, while external debt accounted for the balance of 37.81 per cent.
The International Monetary Fund said in December that Nigeria needed significant revenue mobilisation — including through tax policy and administration improvements — to create space for higher social spending and reduce fiscal risks and debt vulnerabilities.
“With high poverty rates and only a gradual recovery in prospect, revenue mobilisation will need to rely initially on progressive and efficiency-enhancing measures, with higher VAT and excise rates awaiting until stronger economic recovery takes root,” it said.