Nigeria’s Debt Drops 15% in Dollar Terms, Reveals Finance Minister

By Joke Kujenya

A SIGNIFICANT improvement has been announced in the country’s economic indicators, revealing a 15% reduction in total debt stock in US dollar terms for the first quarter of 2024.

The announcement came via the Finance Minister, Wale Edun, after a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Bola Tinubu.

Despite the positive movement in dollar terms, the total debt stock in Naira terms saw a 25% increase, he said.

He also said this rise was attributed to exchange rate fluctuations and an increase in domestic debt issuance and pointed out that Nigeria, as a petrodollar country with the ability to earn in dollars, finds it crucial to monitor its debt exposure in dollar terms.

Edun assured that the FG, under President Tinubu, has not resorted to ways and means to finance its operations.

Unlike previous administrations, he said there have been no requests for central bank funding to cover liabilities such as external debt service or share capital cash calls as he highlighted the administration’s focus on robust revenue collection through technology, minimizing blockages typically caused by manual processing, and implementing effective expenditure controls.

The finance minister also addressed the N22.7 trillion in outstanding ways and means inherited by the current administration, which are undergoing forensic audits and securitization.

Presently, the ways and means deficit stands at N3.4 trillion, offset by operating surpluses from revenue-generating agencies as he emphasized the administration’s dedication to sound financial management, aiming to sustain the positive economic trajectory and enhance Nigeria’s financial stability.

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