Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed

Nigeria’s total public debt rose 3% to $103.3 billion in the second quarter of this year, largely driven by local borrowing to finance the budget deficit, the Debt Management Office (DMO)said.

Nigeria’s deficit has grown this year due to the high cost of a fuel subsidy at a time when oil revenue has fallen due to crude theft and vandalism of pipelines.

The DMO said in its latest data, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, that public debt increased from $100.07 billion as of March this year to $103.3 billion by the end of June.

Although the debt constitutes 23% of the country’s gross domestic product – within the government’s self-imposed limit of 40% – Nigeria’s debt repayment costs are rising while revenues are shrinking.

Between January and April 2022, Nigeria spent more money to service its debt than it raised as revenue.