Data from the NBS shows that States and Federal governments’ debt stock as at 31 December, 2018 reflecting foreign and domestic debts stood at $25.27 billion and ₦16.63 trillion respectively. The disaggregation of Nigeria’s foreign debt showed that $11.01 billion of the debt was multilateral; $344.63 million was bilateral (AFD) and another $2.75 billion bilateral from the Exim Bank of China, JICA, India and KFW while $11.17 billion was commercial, which are basically Eurobonds and Diaspora Bonds. Lagos State, according to the NBS has the highest foreign debt profile among the 36 states and the FCT. The state accounted for 5.64 percent followed by Edo with 1.09 percent, Kaduna, 0.90 percent and Cross River, 0.75 percent. Similarly, total domestic debt was ₦16.63 trillion with Lagos state accounting for 3.19 percent of the total domestic debt while Yobe State has the least debt stock in this category with a contribution of 0.17 percent to the total domestic debt stock.
The Development Bank of Nigeria disbursed ₦31 billion to MSMEs in the country in its first full year of operation in 2018. According to Tony Okpanachi, the DBN’s MD, DBN has changed the landscape of MSMEs funding in the country with its innovative lending and focus on long-term loans to that sector of the economy. The bank is also working to achieve a disbursement level of about ₦100 billion at the end of this year, which could be scaled up to ₦389 billion at the end of 2023, when the bank marks five years in active lending operations. The Partnering Finance Institutions with DBN had grown, from two when the bank started operations in 2017, to 22 as at the end of last year. However, Okpanachi noted that issues of price distortions due to intervention funds; banks’ lack of knowledge on how to lend to MSMEs against the backdrop of good returns on government securities; fragmented micro-finance space; finite number of customers; and collateral and credit information, among others are challenges facing the bank and the MSMEs sector in Nigeria. The World Bank team leader, Director of Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation, Sebatian Molineus, said that World Bank would continue to work with DBN with a view to achieving the objectives of the organisation.
Nigeria has announced plans to double its manufacturing output to 20 percent of GDP within six years as it’s setting up production hubs across the country in partnership with regional aid banks. The ministry of industry, trade and investment said that the FG has set up the Nigeria SEZ Investment Company to finance industrial parks in special economic zones Lagos, Abia and Katsina. The government is currently raising capital of $250 million for the SEZ investment as it plans to double its equity to $500 million over four years, the ministry said. Nigeria, despite being Africa’s biggest economy, lacks a strong manufacturing base, which contributes less than 10 percent to its total GDP. According to the ministry, the Project MINE (Made in Nigeria for Export) aims to increase manufacturing’s contribution to GDP to 20 percent and generate over $30 billion annually by 2025. Lenders such as the African Development Bank, Afrexim Bank, African Finance Corporation and Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority have shown interest in co-investing with the Nigerian government, which would own a 25 percent stake. Two Chinese groups have also shown interest, the ministry said.
A steady rise in air traffic was seen in 2018 according to the NBS’s Air Transport Report. The data shows that the number of international air passengers rose 13 percent to 2.25 million in 2018, from 1.99 million in 2017. The total number of passengers was 14.82 million, marking a 3 percent rise in 2018 compared to 14.26 million in 2017. Movement by aircraft along domestic routes was up by 11 percent. The Lagos Airport recorded the highest traffic for both domestic and international traffic. Out of 4.05 million international air passengers traffic in 2018, Lagos recorded 2.86 million, 68.6 percent of the air passenger traffic in 2018. Abuja and Port Harcourt Airports saw 1.01 million and 90,192 passengers respectively. 70 percent of air transport traffic in 2018 consisted of domestic air travellers.