Despite N2.13tr in two months, DMO promises not to exceed 2023 borrowings | The Guardian Nigeria News

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has assured that it will not exceed the legally approved new borrowing in the 2023 Appropriation Act.

The DMO was reacting to a report that the Federal Government had borrowed N2.13 trillion between January and February this year through regular bond issuance, the retail savings bonds and treasury bills.

The report also raised the alarm that at that rate, the nation may exceed its estimated domestic borrowings of N7.04 trillion for 2023.

In January 2023, the government raised N662.617 billion through its regular bond auction, N277.468 billion through the Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTBs) and N533.03 million through the Federal Government of Nigeria Savings Bonds (FGNSBs), a retail monthly debt issuance introduced in 2017.

This month, the government raised N770.56 billion through bond auctions, N417.064 billion through NTBs and N1.271 billion through the FGNSBs.

But in a reaction pasted on its website, the DMO said its domestic issuance programme is designed not only to provide funds to finance the budget deficit, but to also refinance the FGN’s maturing obligations during the fiscal year.

“Thus while a total of N2.129 trillion has been raised in January and February from issuances of FGN bonds, Nigerian Treasury Bills and FGN Savings Bond, only N1 trillion has been deployed for deficit financing, representing 14.2 per cent of the total requirement of N7.043 trillion for the year.”

“It should be noted that the balance of the funds raised is for refinancing of maturing obligations,” DMO stated.

According to the DMO, while it is maximising the opportunity provided by the strong investor demand to raise funds to facilitate early implementation of the 2023 budget, it is always guided by the law and thus cannot exceed the legally approved new borrowing in the Appropriation Act.

Nigeria’s total public debt stood at N44.06 trillion in the third quarter of 2022, and is projected to hit N77 trillion by May this year. This has stirred a long-running national debate on the growing size of indebtedness and the burden of sustainability amid declining national revenue.

The Federal Government appears to have narrowed its borrowing to the domestic capital market to finance the N8.8 trillion regular debt component of the N10.78 trillion deficit in the 2023 budget because of the sovereign downgrades by global rating agencies, with attendant higher risk profile and cost for international debt issuances.

Source link