- Nigeria’s Debt Rose by N4.76tn in 2016 – DMO
Nigeria total debt rose by N4.76tn in 2016, the Debt Management Office has disclosed.
The DMO disclosed this in its 2016 Annual Report and Statement of Accounts obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to the office, Nigeria’s debt as of December 2016 stood at N17.36tn, up from N12.6tn a year earlier. This reflects an increase of N4.76tn or 37.74 per cent within a period of one year.
The significant increase, according to the DMO, is mainly in the domestic debt component and is attributable to additional issuance of debt securities to fund the 2016 budget deficit and the refinancing and redemption of matured securities.
The DMO explained that the increase in borrowing could be looked at from the deficits contained in both the 2015 and 2016 budgets in relation to the Gross Domestic Product.
Thus, the deficit contained in the 2016 budget reflected 2.14 per cent of the GDP, while that of 2015 reflected 1.09 per cent of the GDP.
The report stated, “The total public debt outstanding as of end of December 2016 was N17.36tn compared to N12.6tn as of the end of December 2015. The significant increase was mainly in the domestic debt stock, which was attributed to additional issuances for the funding of the 2016 deficit and refinancing of matured debt securities.
“The domestic stock has continued to form a larger part of the total public debt stock since 2012. The bulk of the stock of external debt continued to be in the long-term category.”
It added, “The increase in public debt stock was due to additional issuances for funding of the 2016 budget deficit at a larger fiscal deficit of 2.14 per cent of GDP compared with 1.09 per cent in 2015, and refinancing/redeeming matured securities, as well as the depreciation of the naira against the dollar a result of the liberalisation of the exchange rate system.
“The external debt was $11.41bn or 20.04 per cent, while domestic debt was N13.88tn or 79.96 per cent. The domestic debt stock comprised securitised Federal Government of Nigeria debt of N11.06tn or 63.7 per cent as of December 2016 and domestic stock of N2.82tn or 16.26 per cent for the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.”
Given the high cost of servicing local debts, the DMO indicated that the Federal Government intend to borrow more from external sources in order to rebalance the ratio of domestic to foreign borrowing.
It said, “In 2016, the government continued to rely on borrowing mainly from multilateral and bilateral sources on concessional terms to finance public development programmes, by addressing critical infrastructure needs, and rebalance the total debt portfolio, so as to achieve the optimal debt portfolio composition of 60:40 for domestic and external debts, respectively in the medium-term.
“In line with the new debt management strategy, there would be a shift of focus to external borrowing, including the international capital market, as a way of diversifying government’s funding sources, reducing debt service costs and creating opportunities for other domestic economic agents to access external financing.”
The report stated that the stock of external debt by remaining maturity was mainly long-term, adding that the increase in net inflow of funds was largely on account of additional disbursement from multilateral and bilateral sources.
India, Spain, the Netherlands, USA, Nigeria’s Major Export Markets -NBS
India, Spain and the Netherland top Nigeria’s export markets in the final quarter of 2020, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade Q4 2020 report showed that the United States and China trailed the three.
However, the NBS revealed Nigeria exports mainly crude oil and natural gas during the period under review.
It, “The major export and import market of Nigeria in Q4 2020 were India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.
“The major export to these countries were crude petroleum and natural gas. The major imports from the countries were motor spirits, used vehicles, motorcycles and antibiotics.”
The bureau stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 per cent between October and December 2020.
“This was driven mainly by an increase in the prices of base metals and articles of base metals (one per cent), boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof (1.03 per cent), and products of the chemical and allied industries (0.75 per cent),” it stated.
The NBS, however, noted that the index was negatively affected by animal and vegetable fats and oils and other cleavage products.
Onyeama: Qatar To Invest $5bn In Nigeria’s Economy
The oil-rich state of Qatar is to invest a total of $5 billion in Nigeria’s economy, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Godfrey Onyeama, has disclosed.
Onyeama, who spoke Sunday at a send forth dinner in honour of Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol (DOP) at the State House, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, also stated that recent career ambassadorial appointments made by the gederal government was based on merit, experience and professionalism.
The minister further said there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), for significant investments in the region of $5 billion in the Nigerian economy.
According to him, ‘‘Qatar is a weighty and strategic country and very strategic in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas.”
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had visited the State of Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani, reciprocated with a State visit in 2019.
Onyeama also explained that only trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the Foreign Service were recently appointed career ambassadors by the federal government.
The minister said the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were predicated on posting dedicated and keen Foreign Service practitioners to serve as image makers of the country.
He said: ‘‘Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed is a dedicated professional with a penchant for rigour and detail. He is very capable and one of the best in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is personable, affable, extremely friendly, dispassionate and objective.
‘‘He is going to head a very important mission, a very important country, reckoned to be one of the richest countries in the world, per capita, and there’s a lot we will be doing with the State of Qatar.”
Also speaking, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Adeola Rahman Ipaye, described the honoree as a ‘‘perfect gentleman, very even-natured and always well turned out’’.
Ipaye said he had no doubt that the newly appointed ambassador would serve the country well in Qatar, adding that: ‘‘We are further encouraged that when he completes this assignment, he would return to serve Nigeria in a higher capacity.’’
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, while congratulating the outgoing DOP on his appointment, lauded Ahmed for excellent service to the State House and the nation.
‘‘He served this institution and the nation with the deepest sense of responsibility and it is very important that we establish a tradition where the system appreciates those who have served it well and those who will continue to serve it well,’’ he said.
Umar urged the new envoy to keep very fond memories of his time at the Presidential Villa, assuring him of the prayers and goodwill of all the staff.
Responding, Ahmed thanked President Buhari for the great honour and privilege of making him his principal representative in Doha, Qatar.
The Ambassador-designate pledged to deplore his energy and skill to the promotion of the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, particularly in the areas of economic, political, cultural and consular affairs as well as other key areas.
Ahmed, who joined Nigeria’s Foreign Service in 1993, said during his years in public service he had learnt that ‘‘patriotism, selfless service, diligence, determination and perseverance will always result in the achievement of the desired objective’’.
According to him, these virtues would be his ‘‘watchword’’ in the pursuit of Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives and the attainment of national interests.
The Ambassador-designate singled out for appreciation the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the state Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, saying he had learnt a lot working under their mentorship.
He expressed gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Secretary, State House for giving him the opportunity of a memorable work experience in the State House.
France, Nigeria to Build New Partnership
France is currently aiming at building a new partnership with Nigeria, with the dispatching of its Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, to Nigeria.
Riester, who was expected at the time of filing this report on Monday, is scheduled to visit Nigeria from 12-14 April, 2021.
A statement from the French Embassy in Nigeria said: “Franck Riester is visiting Nigeria from 12 to 14 April, a visit that follows up on the priorities set by French President Emmanuel Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 and his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.
“As the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France, the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of 4.5 billion USD in 2019 (2.3 billion USD in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic).”
It disclosed that the minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos, in order to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris on 18 May.
It revealed that the objective of the mission is also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors, and “in this regard, the minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector”.
It said while in the country, the minister would meet with young Nigerian entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries sector, to discuss the major role of their country in African creativity and the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the support of France.
It further said: “The minister will also open the ‘Choose Africa’ conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to supporting the development of start-ups and SMEs in Africa to enable the continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution.”
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