Everest Amaefule, Abuja
Four states of the federation — Lagos, Edo, Kaduna and Cross River — dominate the list of sub-national governments indebted to foreign bodies, statistics obtained from the Debt Management Office, has shown.
This means that the four states hold more than half of the foreign debt owed by the sub-national governments. Precisely, the four states owed 50.08 per cent of the sub-national foreign debt.
Expectedly, Lagos is on top of the list with a foreign debt portfolio of $1.43bn which represents 33.81 per cent of the foreign sub-national debt portfolio.
Lagos is followed by Edo State with a foreign debt portfolio of $276.25m representing 6.53 per cent of the sub-national foreign debt portfolio.
Following Edo is Kaduna State with a foreign debt portfolio of $227.25m representing 5.37 per cent of the country’s sub-national foreign debt as of December 31, 2018.
Cross River State completes the list of the top four on the foreign debt with a portfolio of $188.77m representing 4.46 per cent of the sub-national foreign debt portfolio.
Other top debtors in the foreign debt category include Bauchi $133.93m; Enugu $126.18m; Anambra 107.04m; Ekiti $106.21m; Oyo $105m; Ogun $103.26m; Osun $99.08m; Abia 98.58m and Adamawa $97.79m.
As of December 31, 2018, the country’s total external debt stood at $25.27bn. This means that the sub-national governments held 16.74 per cent of the country’s external debt. This leaves the Federal Government with a total external debt portfolio of $21.04bn representing 83.26 per cent.
On the domestic scene, Lagos is also the most indebted state of the federation with a total domestic debt portfolio of N530.24bn. It is followed by Delta and Rivers states with domestic debt portfolios of N228.81bn and N225.59m, respectively.
Other highly indebted sub-national governments (in terms of domestic debts) include Cross River N167.96bn; FCT N164.25bn; Ekiti N118.01m; Kano N117.08bn; Plateau N100.37bn and Imo N98.78bn.
The sub-national governments (the 36 state governments and the FCT administration) owe N3.85tn in domestic debt.
This represents 23.15 per cent of the country’s domestic debt portfolio of N16. 63tn, leaving the Federal Government with N12.77tn representing 76.84 per cent of the domestic debt portfolio.