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The latest data published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the 36 states of the federation owed N3.809 trillion as domestic debts by March 31, 2019. At the rate of 360/$, the 36 Nigerian states owed $10.6 billion as domestic debts at the end of the first quarter of 2019. This implies that in the first three months of 2019, domestic debts increased by N883.5 billion or 3.3 percent.
When compared with December 2016 when states owed N2.81 trillion or $7.79 billion, the 36 states of the federation grew their domestic debt portfolio by 36 percent or borrowed additional N1.004 trillion or $2.8 billion from the domestic creditors. In recent days, arguments for and against the rising debts among states have staged a comeback with the proponents and opponents justifying their positions as to what level of debt is sustainable for states.
What is new in the latest data?
First, states with low domestic debt portfolios are increasing their domestic debt profiles, albeit slowly. Take for instance, as at December 2018, the ten states with the highest domestic debts cumulatively had N1.96 trillion representing 53 percent of the total local debts owed by the 36 states. Fast forward three months later, that is by March 2019, the same ten states with the highest local debts collectively owed N1.97 trillion , which amounted to 52 percent of the N3.81 trillion local debts owed by the 36 states of the federation. In other words, the share of the biggest ten states dropped in March 2019 compared with their positions in December 2018.
By size, Lagos owed N530.24 billion domestic debt in December 2018 and that increased to N542.23 billion in March 2019, representing an increase of 2.26 percent during the three-month period. Rivers’ local … Read More...