Nigeria's Top 5 States with highest debt profiles in the first half of 2019

L-R: Babajide Sanwo-Olu, President Muhammadu Buhari and Obafemi Hamzat
  • Lagos is the most indebted state in Nigeria in the first half of 2019, with total public debt at N992.38 billion.
  • The Nigerian State is taking more loans, which will see an increase in its debt profile by over 74%.
  • We looked at the top 5 most indebted states in Nigeria, using the latest Debt Management data.

Lagos is the most indebted state in both foreign and domestic borrowing in the first half of 2019, with total public debt at N992.38 billion.

Business Insider SSA's analysis of the Debt Management Office data shows that Lagos' domestic borrowings dipped by 7.35% to N479.04 billion from N517 billion recorded June 30, 2018.

Lagos state's foreign debt stood flat at $1.42 billion (N513.33 billion) in Q2 2019 when compared to the same period in 2018.

Following Lagos on the foreign debt profile is Edo state with $277.74 million while Rivers state followed on domestic borrowing with N266.94 billion, during the same period under review.

  • Lagos $1.42 billion
  • Edo - $277.74 million
  • Kaduna $223.76 million
  • Cross River $192.73 million
  • Oyo - $136. 53 million.
  • Lagos N479.04 billion
  • Delta N233.56 billion
  • Rivers N266.94 billion
  • Akwa Ibom N206.41 billion
  • Cross River N168.82 billion

Despite growing concerns over the country's debt level, Nigeria's Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the challenge is not in debt level but how to raise revenue as an alternative. 

The IMF said the country’s Debt-to-GDP ratio is good but too risky.

In an Independent Day report on October 1, 2019, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) described how Nigerian state debt profiles serve as impediments to democratic values and dividends. The report observed how successive governments accumulate debts for new ones serving as obstacles for the provision of capital projects.

Despite the high debt profile, Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has requested approval for a loan worth N250 billion.

The new loan request will come from a fixed rate bond of N100 billion from the capital market and an internal loan of N150 billion for further fund 2019 budget.

If approved, Lagos’ total public debt profile will increase by 25%.

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