The Federal Government piled up at least N16.48tn new borrowings between 2018 and 2022, the PUNCH has learnt.

This was disclosed in the National Debt Management Framework 2023 -2027 published on the website of the Debt Management Office.

A breakdown of the data showed that the country acquired fresh loans of N1.64tn in 2018, N1.61tn in 2019, N4.2tn in 2020, N5.49tn in 2021, and N3.54tn in 2022.

The data showed that there was an increase of 115.85 per cent in the amount of new borrowing from 2018 to 2022.

However, the highest new debt was recorded in 2021, which was an increase of 234.76 per cent.

The DMO also disclosed that the Federal Government spent its new borrowing on 48.21 per cent of its budget deficit in 2022.

According to the document, in 2022, the Federal Government had a budget size of N17.32tn and a budget deficit of N7.35tn.

Although the Federal Government planned to borrow about N6.1tn in 2022, it could not, due to a lack of access to the International Capital Market.

The document disclosed that the Federal Government could acquire only N3.54tn new borrowing, which was spent on 48.21 per cent of the government budget deficit.

Explaining this, the document read, “The sum of N3.54tn allotted for new domestic borrowing in the 2022 Appropriation Act was fully raised. However, due to lack of market access in the ICM, arising from uncertainties occasioned by the Russia – Ukraine War, the sum of N2.57tn for new external could not be achieved.”

However, the PUNCH observed that in the past, new borrowing was spent on 84 per cent to 91 per cent of the budget deficit.

The data in the document showed that in 2018, 84.09 per cent of the budget deficit was covered by new borrowing.

Also, in 2019, it was 84.10 per cent; in 2020, it was 91.11 per cent; in 2021, it was 85.11 per cent.

The document added, “The DMO was able to fulfil its mandate of funding the Federal Budgets as provided in various Appropriation Acts as shown in Table 4.

The Table also revealed that 84 per cent to 91 per cent of the budget deficits were funded through new borrowing except for the year 2022 when there was very limited access to ICM for emerging economies.

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