By Olawunmi Ashafa
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday said the country’s outstanding domestic debt stood at N12.44 billion as at December 2018.
This was contained in the bank’s 2018 Annual Activity Report released by the Financial Markets Department, CBN, and posted on its Website on Wednesday in Lagos.
The CBN said the figure represented a decrease of N146.35 million or 1.16 per cent when compared to N12.59 billion in 2017.
According to the CBN, the decline was due to the Federal Government’s preference for foreign borrowing to finance its fiscal deficit at attractive rates.
It said, “The debt stock comprised FGN bonds worth N9.13 billion or 73.41 per cent, FGN Saving Bonds worth N10.75 billion or 0.09 per cent, FGN Sukuk worth N200.00 billion or 1.61 per cent.
“FGN Green Bonds worth N10.69 billion or 0.09 per cent, FGN Special Bonds worth N200.54 billion or 1.61 per cent, and NTBs worth N2,735.97 billion or 21.99 per cent.”
The regulator also said the country’s outstanding treasury bonds worth N150.99 billion constituted the remaining 1.21 per cent.
The bank added that the cost of servicing the debt grew by 23.65 per cent to N1.8 billion, compared to N1.46 billion at the end of 2017.
It said, “The increase in the cost of debt servicing in 2018 was attributable to the coupon payments of new instruments such as FGN Sukuk, Green bonds and FGN Savings.”