23 February 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal Government has disclosed that it expended a whopping sum of N1.094.22 trillion was expended on debt servicing between January and September 2016.
It explained that while N1.044 trillion was used to service local debt, against the N980.55 billion budgeted in the 2016 spending plan, representing N63.45 billion, the sum of N50.22 billion was spent for external debt servicing, marking N9.36 billion increase from the N40.86 billion budgeted.
This was according to 2016 draft on budget implementation and performance monitoring report for the third quarter presented by the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, at an event titled “Promoting Effective Policy Monitoring and Evaluating and Performance of Ministers, Department and Agencies in the implementation of the 2016 Budget of Change” in Abuja.
According to the Minister, “the increase in the external debt stock in the third quarter of 2016 was due largely to the rise in Non-Paris Club Bilateral Debts draw down.”
It will be recalled that some factors such as the crash of oil prices in the International market, crude oil theft, illegal bunkering and militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta affected the earnings of the country.
The minister said net oil receipt dropped by 66.6 percent to N2012.37 billion in the third quarter of 2016, against N603.53 billion.
However, non oil revenue improved by 9.47 percent to N777.37billion from N709.96billion same quarter last year.
She added that in 2016, government largely borrowed from domestic sources to fund capital projects.
Ahmed, however, said a net sum of N987.17 billion was available for distribution among the three tiers of government in the third quarter, with a 30 .96 percent shortfall of N442.73billion.
Meanwhile, sequel to the crash of global oil prices and short supply of the product, no transfers were made to the Excess Crude Account (ECA) in the first two quarters of the year.
But with a rise in crude oil prices, N145.48billion was transferred to the account in the third quarter.
Ahmed said a total of N85. 17 billion was withdrawn from the ECA for distribution among the three tiers of government within the quarter, leaving a balance of $2.89billion balance as at September 20.
The 2016 budget had a total appropriation of N6.06trillion with recurrent (Non Debt).