Nigeria’s total debt has been put at N8.07 trillion by the National Economic Council (NEC). Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the National Economic Council meeting, presided by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, held at the presidential villa, Niger State Deputy Governor, Mr. Ahmed Ebeto, said: “After the end of Debt Data Reconstruction (DDR) exercise, the following was established: total debt of the Federal Government, States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) stood at N8.07 trillion by December 2011 consisting of N6.85 trillion for Domestic Stock and N1.217 trillion for external stock.
“Consolidated public debt/GDP ratio stands at 21.5 per cent as against the standard threshold of 40 per cent. “
All states and FCT are within the liquidity solvency, sustainability thresholds. The Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, said his office highlighted the gains recorded on public debt management including the successful completion of Debt Data Reconstruction exercise in all the 36 states and the FCT last December.
“The council commended the DMO for the detailed information in the report and advised the state governments to strengthen the state DMO offices to facilitate timely and accurate update of debt information. Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, said the governors agreed to ask the Independent National Electoral Commission to grant them discounts on its used laptops, which it agreed to sell to them.
He said, “Council further discussed and supported INEC’s proposal at the last NEC to sell-off a total of 78,701 excess laptops and webcams to the states for distribution to Secondary Schools for the promotion of computer literacy. “Council agreed that states are going to buy the machines and INEC should give discount of 25 per cent for the fairly used machines and 10 per cent for the new ones.
“Further negotiation on the mode of payment will be finalised by the committee with INEC.” Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State said the NEC also re-visited the presentation at the last NEC by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on concessionary facilities being offered to both Federal and State Government by different international funding agencies. The facilities, according to him, are meant to fund high impact projects in vital areas such as infrastructure, housing, water supply, erosion control and employment generation.
The governor said the NEC resolved to establish a sub-committee to follow-up and work with interested states towards a better harmonisation and coordination of the processes to enhance easier and quicker draw down.
He listed members of the committee to include governors of Benue, Anambra, Bauchi, Kaduna, Delta and Ondo states. Others, according to him, are Minister of Finance, Minister of National Planning, Chief Economic Adviser to the President and Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters. State governors, Attorney-General of the Federation, Ministers of Finance, National Planning and Federal Capital Territory, as well as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria among others are members of NEC.