Debt: Lagos Is King, Balloons South-West Borrowing To N1.04Tn

Lagos, the most populated state in Nigeria with an estimated 20 million people holds the largest debt stock in the country. The state which comes 6th in economic size in Africa (by GDP) owes half of what the rest of South West geopolitical zone owe. And a quarter of those of the the rest of 35 states and FCT.

The state’s indebtedness stands at N542.23bn. Added to the other five states, the South-West has more domestic debt than other regions of the country.

Information from the Debt Management Office showed that the geopolitical zone was exposed to a debt of N1.04tn as at the end of the 1st quarter of the year.

The statistics also showed that the six geopolitical zones of the country were exposed to a total debt of N3.97tn as of March 31.

This means that the South-West geopolitical zone made up Lagos, Ekiti, Osun, Ogun, Oyo and Ondo states accounts for 26.2 per cent of the country’s total subnational domestic debt.

Thus, the state, which is the largest subnational economy in the country, accounts for 51.92 per cent of the debt owed by the six states in the South-West.

Curiously but not surprising, Osun State with N147.7bn accounts for 14.2 per cent of the indebtedness of the South-West region while Ekiti State with N118.01bn accounts for 11.35 per cent of the debt owed by the South-West geopolitical zone. Osun had battled with salary payment for much of four years now, borrowing for execution of capital projects and recurrent expenditure in the process.

Ogun State in spite of her favourable IGR, accounts for 9.34 per cent of the domestic indebtedness of the region with a total of N97.09bn while Oyo with N94.14bn accounts for 9.03 per cent of the debt of the region.

Ondo, an oil producing states has the least debt in the region accounting for 5.48 per cent with N56.96bn.

The oil rich South-South region comes close to the South West, it has a domestic debt burden of N949.4bn. This accounts for 23.91 per cent of the country’s subnational debt.

Among the six states that make up the South-South region, Rivers State has the highest debt. It has a debt profile of N225.59bn and therefore accounts for 23.76 per cent of the regional debt.

Delta State with N233.44bn accounts for 23.53 per cent of the debt burden of the region. Akwa Ibom with N199.77bn accounts for 21.04 per cent while Cross River with N167.25bn accounts for 17.62 per cent.

Bayelsa State with N133.34bn accounts for 14.04 per cent while Edo State, the least indebted state in the region accounts for 9.1 per cent of the debt commitment of the South-South region.

The North-Central region comprising Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau and Benue States as well as the Federal Capital Territory has a debt burden of N648.63bn, accounting for 16.34 per cent of the country’s subnational debt.

The FCT Administration has a debt of N163.52bn, accounting for 25.21 per cent of the North-Central’s debt. Plateau State accounts for 15.2 per cent of the regional debt while Benue State with N96.91bn accounts 14.94 per cent.

Kogi State with N96.68bn accounts for 14.91 per cent; Nasarawa State with N89.95bn accounts for 13.87 per cent; Kwara State with N59.58bn accounts for 9.19 per cent while the least burdened state, Niger, accounts for 6.69 per cent of the region’s debt with N43.41bn.

The North-West comprising Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara and Jigawa States has a debt burden of N485.39bn, accounting for 12.23 per cent of subnational local debt.

In the region, Kano has the highest debt burden of N121.31bn accounting for 24.99 per cent of the domestic debt of the region. It is followed by Kaduna State with N93.2bn, accounting for 19.2 per cent.

Katsina State has a debt burden of N67.1bn, accounting for 13.82 per cent of the region’s debt while Kebbi State accounts for 13.81 per cent with a burden of N67.04bn.

Zamfara has a debt burden of N61.95bn, accounting for 12.76 per cent. Kebbi accounts for 7.88 per cent with a total domestic debt of N38.23bn.

Sokoto, on the other hand, is the least indebted in the region with a debt of N36.57bn, accounting for 7.53 per cent.

The North-East geopolitical zone comprising Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states has a debt burden of N441.19bn, accounting for 11.11 per cent of the country’s subnational debt.

Adamawa tops the zone with N97.15bn, accounting for 22.02 per cent of the domestic debt of the region. Bauchi has N93.32bn, accounting for 21.15 per cent. Borno has N78.26bn, accounting for 17.74 per cent while Gombe has N76.89bn, accounting for 17.43 per cent.

Taraba with N68.57bn accounts for 15.54 per cent while the least indebted, Yobe, with N26.99bn accounts for 6.12 per cent.

Interestingly, the South-East geopolitical zone comprising Imo, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra is the least indebted zone with N305.67bn local debt accounting for 7.7 per cent of the country’s subnational debt. Although this has the least number of states. The five states owe less than what Lagos owes.

Oil producing Imo tops the region with N97.85bn, accounting for 32.01 per cent of the regional local debt; Abia has N62.85bn, accounting for 20.56 per cent.

Enugu has N55.88bn, accounting for 18.28 per cent while Ebonyi has N55.6bn, accounting for 18.18 per cent. Anambra is the least indebted state in the region with N33.49bn, accounting for 10.96 per cent.

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