Lagos, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states have emerged as the three most indebted states in Nigeria, accounting for 23.9% of the country’s subnational domestic debt of N4.190 trillion as of 30th September 2020, data from the website of Debt Management Office (DMO) showed on Monday.
The debt figure accounted for 20.91% of Nigeria’s entire domestic debt, with the Federal government for the rest or 79.09 or N15.846 trillion.
The DMO revealed that the debt stock of subnational governments in Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory, edged up by N484.24 million between July and September.
Lagos was responsible was N493.318 billion of the total debt or 11.8% while Rivers accounted for N266.936 billion or 6.4%, according to the DMO data. Akwa Ibom’s portion of the portfolio stood at N239.210 billion or 5.7%.
Delta, Cross River and Imo came next with debt balances of N235.860 billion, N164.100 billion and N158.175 billion respectively, accounting for 5.63%, 3.92% and 3.78% of the entire debt stock.
On the reverse side, Yobe, Jigawa and Ebonyi states were the least indebted states in the federation as their debts stood at N29.23 billion, N36.04 billion and N41.27 billion in that order, according to the DMO.
Last month, the International Monetary Fund noted that it was imperative for Nigeria to up its revenue generation drive in order to create room for increased social spending and scale down fiscal threats and debt vulnerabilities.
“With high poverty rates and only a gradual recovery in prospect, revenue mobilisation will need to rely initially on progressive and efficiency-enhancing measures, with higher VAT and excise rates awaiting until stronger economic recovery takes root,” the multilateral organisation said.