Nigeria’s debt-to-GDP ratio rises to 23.3% as outstanding debt hits N41.6 trillion in Q1 2022

Nigeria’s total outstanding debt rose to 41.6 trillion naira in the first quarter of 2022, representing an increase of 2.05 trillion naira from the 39.56 trillion naira recorded in December of the year. ‘last year. In dollar terms, Nigeria’s outstanding debt reached $100.1 billion.

Similarly, Nigeria’s debt-to-GDP ratio rose to 23.27% in the first quarter of the year from 22.47% in December 2022. Although this is below the self-imposed limit of 40% , the rate is accelerating faster, due to increased borrowing and sluggish economic growth.

This is contained in the quarterly public debt portfolio report, published by the Debt Management Office (DMO).

According to the agency, Nigeria’s total public debt stock includes new domestic borrowing by the federal government, which was used to partially fund the 2022 budget deficit. The debt stock also includes $1.25 billion. of Eurobonds issued in March 2022 and disbursements from multilateral and bilateral lenders.

Likewise, the outstanding debt of the various state governments and the federal capital has also increased.


  • A breakdown of outstanding debt shows the federal government’s domestic debt rose 3.99% in the first three months of the year to $48.45 billion from $46.59 billion. recorded in December 2021.
  • Similarly, domestic state debt increased 7.91% to $11.65 billion as of March 31, 2022. This represents an increase of $853 million quarter-over-quarter. the other. In total, total domestic debt rose 4.73% to $60.1 billion.
  • A closer look at outstanding federal government debt by instrument, FGN bonds accounted for 70.7% of total domestic debt at N14.24 trillion naira.
  • Similarly, Nigerian treasury bonds accounted for 21.88% with a total of N4.41 trillion naira in debt.
  • On the other hand, the external debt increased by 4.08% to settle at 39.96 billion dollars, compared to the previous quarter.
  • The Federal Government during the reporting period spent a total of N668.69 billion on domestic debt servicing, which is 115% more than the N310.49 billion spent in the previous quarter and 9, 1% more than the 612.71 billion naira incurred in the corresponding quarter. period of 2021.
  • External debt service jumped to $548.79 million in the first quarter of 2022 from $286.35 million spent in the previous quarter.

What the DMO says

The DMO press release reads in part: “While total public debt to GDP at 23.27% was below Nigeria’s self-imposed limit of 40%, the government’s drive to increase and diversify revenue remains a priority to ensure the sustainability of public debt.

“The initiatives in this regard are yielding results as the actual revenue from January to November 2021 at 5.51 trillion naira was 39.21% higher than the 3.96 trillion naira recorded in 2020. non-oil grew 80% from 61% in 2020.”

Sallie R. Loera