Nigeria and Ghana’s external debt stock grew by 17 per cent in 2020, the International Debt Statistics (IDS) 2022 report of the World Bank says.
This report comes as the Muhammad Buhari regime continues to take on loans from China and other foreign lenders to service the country’s bloated budget.
Released on Monday at the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meetings in Washington, the report disclosed that the external debt of Ghana also grew by 17 per cent.
The bank attached the growth of Nigeria and Ghana’s external debt stock to the purchase of $1 billion and $3.4 billion from the IMF.
It also tied the external debt stock growth of Ghana to a $3 billion pre-pandemic Eurobond issue, and that of Nigeria to a 16 per cent rise in Nigeria’s nonguaranteed debt of the private sector.
“In Sub-Saharan Africa, both Ghana and Nigeria recorded a 17 percent increase in external debt stocks driven by purchases from the IMF of $1 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively, plus in Ghana, the $3 billion pre-pandemic Eurobond issue, and for Nigeria, a 16 percent rise in the nonguaranteed debt of the private sector,” the report explained.
In August, the World Bank listed Nigeria among the ten countries with high debt risk exposure.
Nigeria ranked number five with $11.7 billion debt stock according to a financial statement the World Bank released on behalf of the International Development Association (IDA).
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in September condemned Mr Buhari’s continuous borrowing, saying accumulating debt for future generations is foolish and criminal.
Mr Obasanjo’s statement came in the wake of Mr Buhari’s request to the National Assembly for a fresh $4 billion loan.
The former president whose administration is lauded for clearing Nigeria’s foreign debt, wondered why the Buhari-led regime was borrowing.
In April, the Senate approved $1.5 billion and €995 million external borrowings which were part of the $5.5 billion and €995 million external borrowings sought for by Mr Buhari in May last year to finance the country’s budget.
According to the Nigerian Domestic and Foreign Debt Report published this year by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country’s total public debt as of September 2020 stood at N32.2 trillion ($84.57 billion).