The total debt owed to the World Bank Group by Nigeria rose by $660m in the first six months of 2022, the Punch has learnt.
This is according to data from both the Debt Management Office and the financial statements of the World Bank.
According to data from the DMO, Nigeria debt to the Washington-based bank was $12.38 as of December 31, 2021.
The financial statements of the World Bank for fiscal year 2022 show that Nigeria owes the lending institution $13.04bn as of June 30, 2022.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association, which make up the World Bank, have, over the years, advanced loans to Nigeria.
The IBRD lends to governments of middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries while the IDA provides concessionary loans – called credits – and grants to governments of the poorest countries.
Nigeria’s debt to the IDA and IBRD stood at $12.55bn and $486m respectively as of June 30, 2022, compared to $11.97bn and $410.60m in December 32, 2021.
According to a recent Punch report, rising debt has pushed Nigeria up the World Bank’s top 10 IDA borrowers’ list.
The World Bank Fiscal Year 2021 audited financial statements for IDA showed that Nigeria was rated fifth on the list with $11.7bn IDA debt stock as of June 30, 2021.
However, the newly released World Bank Fiscal Year 2022 audited financial statements for IDA showed that Nigeria has moved to the fourth position on the list, with $13bn IDA debt stock as of June 30, 2022.
This shows that Nigeria accumulated about $1.3bn IDA debt within a fiscal year, with the country taking over the fourth top debtor position from Vietnam.
This debt is different from the outstanding loan of $486m from World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The top five countries on the list slightly reduced their IDA debt stock except Nigeria.
Nigeria has the highest IDA debt in Africa, as the top three IDA borrowers (India, Bangladesh and Pakistan) are from Asia.
The World Bank disclosed recently that Nigeria’s debt, which might be considered sustainable for now, was vulnerable and costly.
The bank said, “Nigeria’s debt remains sustainable, albeit vulnerable and costly, especially due to large and growing financing from the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
However, the Washington-based global financial institution added that the country’s debt was also at risk of becoming unsustainable in the event of macro-fiscal shocks.
The bank further expressed concerns over the nation’s cost of debt servicing, which according to it, disrupted public investments and critical service delivery spending.