Amidst concerns that Nigeria’s debt profile is rising at an unsustainable level, new reports have shown that between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, the Nigerian government has added 2.75 trillion naira to its debt portfolio.

According to statistics from the Debt Management Office, DMO, these include debts owed by Federal and state authorities as well as the Federal Capital Territory Administration.

Figures from the DMO made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday also showed that the country’s debt stood at 22.38 trillion naira as of June 30.

This is an increase of 2.75 trillion naira, 14% over a total debt of 19.63 trillion naira as of June 30, 2017.

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The DMO attributed the rise in the debt profile over the one-year period to the $2.5 billion Eurobond issued by the Federal Government in February.

The Director General of the DMO, Patience Oniha, also said at a briefing in Abuja on Tuesday that the DMO had been able to raise a total of 410 billion naira from the domestic debt market for financing capital projects in the 2018 budget.

She said the money was part of the 793 billion naira that would be borrowed from the domestic market within the year.

She added that the 2018 Appropriation Act approved foreign borrowing of 850 billion naira even though the government had not started the process.

Answering questions from journalists, Oniha dismissed the notion that there had been excessive borrowing since the present administration came into power in 2015.

She argued that the government only borrowed after thorough examination and questioning by lawmakers.

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