Nigeria's Debt Rose 38% to ₦17.4tr in 2016 –Debt Office

Nigeria's total debt rose to 17.36 trillion naira ($56 bln) as of Dec. 2016 from 12.60 trillion naira a year earlier, the Debt Management Office said, as the country grappled with its first recession in a quarter of century caused by low oil prices.

Africa's biggest economy expects a budget deficit of 2.36 trillion naira for 2017, with half of it funded through domestic borrowing.

It has been selling bonds and bills this year at yields below rising inflation to curb borrowing cost as it battles to kick-start the economy this year.

Foreign bonds and loans stood at $11.40 billion at the end of December, the debt office said on its website - equivalent to about 20 percent of total debt and up from $10.7 billion at the end of 2015.

Local debt spiked to 13.88 trillion naira last year, up from 8.83 trillion naira in 2015 and is set to rise further.

The government has said it will raise 130 billion naira at its third domestic debt sale this year on March 15 and sell 1.13 trillion naira worth of treasury bills by the second quarter.

Nigeria also plans to issue a new savings bond this month targeted at retail investors to broaden its funding base followed by a 20 billion naira "green bond" sale in April.

It sold a $1 billion Eurobond last month and wants to sell another for $500 million. The government aims to issue a $300 million diaspora bond abroad this year and sell its first sovereign sukuk in the local market.

In December, President Muhammadu Buhari, presented a 7.3 trillion naira budget for 2017 to parliament, an increase of 1.22 trillion naira from 2016.

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