by Nuruddeen M. Abdallah
States’ foreign debts . Lagos, Bauchi, Kaduna top debtors’ list
Lagos, Bauchi and Kaduna are the biggest foreign debtors among the 36 states in the country, according to official data analysed by Daily Trust.
Records posted on the Debt Management Office (DMO) website shows that the foreign debt stock of some of the states nearly doubled in 18 months.
Data as at June 2014 show that the top foreign debtors are Lagos (N162 billion), Kaduna (N40 billion) and Bauchi (N17 billion).
But the figures as at December 2012 stood at N99 billion for Lagos, while Kaduna had N34 billion and Bauchi had N10 billion.
The total foreign debt stock of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was N387 billion ($2.4 billion) as at December 2012, according to DMO records.
But the debt profile soared to N489 billion ($3 billion) by June, representing an increase of about 26 percent.
Of the $3 billion external debt, 2.9 billion is multi-lateral while the remaining $108 million in bilateral loan.
Kaduna retained its position as the North’s biggest debtor with its foreign debt profile rising from $216 million in December 2012 to $246 million in June 2014.
Again, Lagos remains the country’s biggest debtor with its external debt profile almost doubling from $611 million in 2012 to $1 billion in 2014.
Lagos total debt profile both foreign and domestic was N234 billion in December 2012.
Another state which foreign debt profile skyrocketed is Bauchi. Its foreign debt profile grew from 67 million US dollars in 2012 to 111 million US dollars in 2014.
But Cross Rivers’ only grew from 113 million US dollars in 2012 to 120 million US dollars in 2014.
While Ogun’s moved from 102 million US dollars from 2012 to 117 million US dollars in 2014.
On the other hand, Borno remains the state with the least growth in foreign debt profile both in 2012 and now.
Its foreign debt profile grows from 14 million US dollars in December 2012 to 16 million US dollars as at June 2014.
Other states with the least foreign debt profile as at December 2012, according to official data are Delta (18 million US dollars), Plateau (22 million US dollars) and Taraba (23 million US dollars).
But by June 2014, the DMO data shows the states with the least foreign debts thus: Borno ($16 million), Plateau ($23 million), Taraba ($24 million), Delta ($25 million), and Benue ($29 million).
Due to their debt profile many states lose large chunk of their statutory monthly allocations to debt service deductions, leaving small amounts for fresh projects.
There are no official figures of the current domestic debt profile of the states by the DMO yet.
A DMO documents shows that the 36 states and FCT’s domestic and foreign debts are N1.928 trillion as of December 31, 2012, with the domestic component being N1.551 trillion while foreign debt stock stood at N387 billion.