Nigeria external debt, every Nigerian citizen in the country is currently indebted to the tune of $157 or N64,684.
This trend, according to a development economist, Dr. Tayo Bello, is worrisome as the borrowing rate is alarming and does not reflect in physical infrastructure that can repay the loans.
As of June 30, 2021, the country’s external obligations stood at $33.468 billion, according to the Debt Management Office.
Nigeria’s current population as of Saturday, October 9, 2021, based on Worldometer’s elaboration of the latest United Nations data, stands at 212,599,044, and when the country’s debt is equally divided, each person, old and young, male and female, is owing external entities $157.42 or N64,684 each.
This is as the country is looking at borrowing another N6 trillion to fund the N16 trillion spending for next year.
The country’s external borrowings have been on the increase in recent times, with the country’s external debt rising by $120.84 million between January and June this year.
Dr. Bello said: “The problem with Nigeria is that the borrowed fund is not commensurate with the availability of revenue, both inflow and outflow, and does not reflect in infrastructure that can repay the loans. It is a garbage in, garbage out situation.”
He alleged that some persons steal the money that is borrowed and expressed worry over taking loans to fund a railway line leading to Niger Republic for the sheer reason that Nigeriens are President Muhammadu Buhari’s cousins.
“The problem with the external loan is that we are going to repay the loan in dollars, both the principal and interest. If the loan is expended on things that can repay the debts, there is no problem with that, but there is a problem with borrowing to pay salaries,” he said.
As of December 31, 2020, the country’s total external obligations stood at $33.348 billion but it had risen to $33.468 billion by the end of June.