Lagos, the Most Indebted State in Nigeria

Statistics obtained from the Debt Management Office has shown, four states of the federation, which include Lagos, Edo, Kaduna and Cross River, dominate the list of sub-national governments indebted to foreign bodies.

According to the statistics from DMO, the four states have combined foreign debt of $2.12bn, out of the $4.23bn owed by the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory Administration as of last year December 2018.

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 percent of the sub-national foreign debt.

In December 2018, the country’s total external debt stood at $25.27bn. This means that the sub-national government held 16.74 percent of the country’s external debt. This leaves the FG with a total external portfolio of $21.04bn representing 83.26 percent.

Expectedly, Lagos is on top of the list with a foreign debt portfolio of $1.43bn which represents 33.81 percent of the foreign sub-national debt portfolio. Lagos is followed by Edo State with a foreign debt portfolio of $276.25m representing 6.53 percent of the sub-national foreign debt portfolio.

Following Edo is Kaduna State with a foreign debt portfolio of $227.25m representing 5.37 percent 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 percent 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.

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.

The sub-national governments (the 36 state governments and the FCT
administration) owe N3.85tn in domestic debt. This represents 23.15 percent of the country’s domestic debt portfolio of N16. 63tn, leaving the Federal Government with N12.77tn representing 76.84 percent of the domestic debt portfolio.