According to the Debt Management Office (DMO), the outstanding public debt declined by 5.65 percent from $84 billion to $79.3 billion between December 2019 and March 20201. The reduction was driven by a 9 percent decline in domestic debt from $56.4 billion to $51.6 billion during the same period2. Meanwhile, the change to external debt was minimal as it tapered around $27.6 billion in both periods. While the decline in domestic debt is as a result of the redemption of Nigeria Treasury Bills (NTBs), the stagnation of external debt stems from the government’s need to limit its exposure to exchange rate volatility. However, the $3.4 billion in emergency support received from the IMF in April as well as the reliance on domestic debt to mitigate the impact of the pandemic will increase public debt in the near term. In this context, effective debt management is important not only with regards to the terms of borrowing but also in debt use and transparency.
July 20, 2020
Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 27)
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.
Recently released power sector report by the National Bureau of Statistics records a total average energy generation of 2,548GWH by 25 power stations, from October 2016 to December 2016. Daily Energy generation, attained the 2016Q4 highest level of 3,859.6MW in October 2016, and a lowest level of 2522MW in the same month. On the average, current daily energy generated which is below 3,000MW, prompts system malfunctions. Thus, the irregular power generation and supply experienced in recent times is attributable to shortage of gas owing to non-functional major pipelines, in addition to the inability of GENCOs to make payments for the available gas supply. Given the recent challenges to power supply, efforts should be geared towards the diversification of electricity generation. Government should consider investment in renewable as well as coal energy to complement gas power supply.