Lagos most affected as states surrender N78bn to service external debt
Lagos remains the most affected state in the federation as thirty-six states were forced to surrender a staggering N78bn allocations to pay off their external debts, data from the National Bureau of Statistics has revealed.
The figures were captured in the bureau’s Federation Account Allocation Committee Disbursement reports.
With a deduction of about N23.61bn in 2022 for external debt servicing, Lagos led the rest of the states in Nigeria, while Kaduna and Cross River followed with N10.25bn and N7.56bn deductions, respectively.
Oyo, Rivers, Ogun, and Edo were also among the states hit by the deductions, with N4.27bn, N2.74bn, N2.62bn, and N2.15bn deducted from them, respectively.
Borno, Delta, and Zamfara were the least affected states, with N309.79m, N417.54m, and N417.96m deducted from their allocations, respectively.
The monthly breakdown shows the deductions throughout the year, were fixed at N6.3 billion except for January and February, when about N7.66bn was deducted each.
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With a total sum of N1.58 trillion (N1,581,504,485,760.87), the six states of the South-West are topping the list of geo-political zones in the country with the highest domestic debt burden.
The 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) piled a total of N5.33 trillion (N5,337,751,456,173.93) domestic debt as of December 31, 2022, based on the latest debt data released by the Debt Management Office (DMO).
The domestic debt data report is usually generated from the signed-off submissions received from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
The South-West is trailed by the South-South region with a debt burden of N1, 203 trillion (N1, 203,189577,899.87) and North-East with N681.833 billion (N681,833,793,907.342).
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North-Central is next with N660.340 billion (N660, 340, 372, 536.300 while the South-East with the least number of states in the country (five) has a debt burden of N553.774 billion (N553, 774, 975,135.49).
Incidentally, the North-West with the highest number of states (seven) only piled a total of N576 billion debt, slightly higher than the South-East with only five states.
Based on the latest domestic debt figures published by the DMO, Lagos State retained its number one spot as the most indebted sub-national government with a total of N807.208 billion (N807,208,634,237.88) followed by Delta with N304.245 billion (N304,245,915,945.65) and Ogun State with N270.450 billion (N270,450,024,234.79).
Despite not updating its debt profile for over one year, Rivers State with a debt burden of N225,505,011,357 was fourth on the scale while Akwa Ibom with N219,265,319,660.24 was fifth, followed by Imo State with N204,224,291,725.13.
Jigawa retained its position as the least indebted state domestically with a burden of N43,952,167,579.02, followed by Kebbi State with N61,310,171,246.00 and Katsina State with N62,374,809,154.32.
Ebonyi State which for many years was the second or third least-indebted state after Jigawa lost the position with a burden of N76,496,806,095.94.