August 3, 2015
Volume 3 July 2015
Nigerias external reserves improved in 2017. The reserve stood at approximately $39 billion as at the end of December 2017, up by about 50 percent from the $26 billion at the beginning of the year 20172. The surge in reserve was particularly boosted by increased capital importation, and crude revenue earnings prompted by a relatively higher crude oil price and improved domestic production. Given that the recent uptick in external reserves is still largely associated with improved crude oil price, efforts should be geared towards conserving current reserve gain so as to cushion future external shock. In the medium term, there is need to diversify export earning away from oil so as to mitigate the effects of volatility in crude oil prices.
The paper analyses the impact of public debt on an economy using Nigeria as case study and identifies steady states in the model of a closed economy.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised down growth forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa by 0.2 percentage points, while retaining growth estimates for Nigeria and South Africa in 2017. Precisely, growth rate forecast for Africa was reduced from 2.8 percent in January 2017 forecast to 2.6 percent in April 2017 forecast while growth estimates were retained at 0.8 percent for both South Africa and Nigeria. In contrast, global economic growth outlook was increased by 0.4 percentage points from 3.1 percent to 3.5 percent within the same period. Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is hampered by adverse cyclical and supply side factors, weak fiscal buffers and rising public debt amongst non-commodity exporters as well as severe drought was experienced in Eastern and Southern Africa
Recently released data by the Debt Management Office reveals a further increase in Nigerias debt stock as at the end of 2017Q3. Total debt stock stood at N20.37 trillion as at September 20172, increasing by 3.75 percent Quarter-over- Quarter and 20.67 percent Year-on-Year. External debts rose 2 percent to N4.69 trillion, while domestic debts (FGN and States) grew by 4.3 percent to N15.68 trillion both accounting for approximately 23 percent and 77 percent of total debt stock respectively. Obviously, Nigerias increasing debt accumulation at a rate faster than GDP growth rate, clearly exacerbates difficulties in meeting debt repayment and sustainability of debt servicing measures. The recent borrowing surge should be utilized to provide socially viable and profitable infrastructure so as to minimize the future debt burden.