Which Nigerian president has borrowed the most since 1999?
The Federal Government of Nigeria has continued to depend on borrowing to finance its budget for many years.
Below is a snapshot of how the Federal Government’s debt has increased since 1999, when the country transitioned from military to civilian rule. Its debt has grown the most under President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Buhari administration increased the Federal Government’s domestic debt to N19.24 trillion in December 2021 from N16.02 trillion in December 2020. The domestic debt stood at N8.39 trillion as at June 2015, a month after Buhari came to power during his first tenure.
Buhari increased the Federal Government’s external borrowing to $33.62 billion as of December 2021 from $28.73 billion a year earlier. The external debt of the federal and state governments stood at $10.32 billion in June 2015, according to the Debt Management Office.
An analysis of consolidated debt showed that the external debt increased by 291 percent while domestic debt grew by 86 percent in the last six years.
At the beginning of President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure in 2011, the Federal Government had an accumulated debt of N6.17 trillion.
An analysis of the debt figure showed that local debt stood at N5.62 trillion while foreign debt stood at $3.5 billion (about N548.65 billion, using the exchange rate of N156.7).
At the end of 2015, the foreign debt component hit $7.3 billion, while domestic debt increased by N8.4 trillion. The country’s exchange rate stood at N197.
The Federal Government’s component of the total public debt increased to N9.8 trillion in 2015 from N6.17 trillion in 2011, showing a 58 percent increase of N3.63 trillion.
Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was president between 2007 and 2011, with the domestic debt of the Federal Government increasing from N2.17 trillion to N5.62 trillion.
The foreign component of debt increased from $2.11 billion to $3.5 billion within the period.
The combined debt profile rose from N2.42 trillion to N6.17 trillion in four years, representing a 155 percent increase.
Jonathan completed the tenure from May 2010 to May 2011 after the death of Yar’Adua. The period saw a 24.9 percent surge in the Federal Government’s debt from N4.94 trillion to N6.17 trillion in one year.
During President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure, there was a reduction in the debt level of the Federal Government to N2.42 trillion in 2007 from N3.55 trillion in 1999,
Obasanjo served for eight years, with a dip in the federal government’s local and foreign debt level, representing a 31.8 percent decrease.
The domestic component increased from N798 billion to N2.17 trillion within the same period, while the external debt decreased to $2.11 billion at the end of 2007 from $28.04 billion in 1999.