Data from the Debt Management Office shows that Nigeria’s external debt stock rose by 148 percent in almost four years of President Buhari’s administration. The external debt rose to $25.61 billion on 31 March, 2019, from $10.32 billion on 30 June, 2015. The breakdown of the DMO data showed that Eurobonds worth $10.87 billion accounted for the largest chunk of the external debt, as it rose by 625 percent from $1.5 billion in 2015. The debt owed to the World Bank rose to $8.90 billion from $6.19 billion. The third-biggest lender to Nigeria is China, through its Export-Import Bank of China, with a loan of $2.55 billion as of 31 March, 2019, up from $1.39 billion on 30 June, 2015. Other lenders are African Development Bank, $1.25 billion, African Development Fund, $834.18 million, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, $5.88 million, Export Development Fund, $59.15m, Islamic Development Bank, $15.51 million and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, $176.19 million. Bilateral debts from France; Agence Française de Développement, Japan; Japan International Cooperation Agency, India Exim Banking of India and Germany (KfW) stood at $366.07 million, $74.63 million, $26.46 million and $171.79 million, respectively. Financial and economic experts have described the $15.3billion increase in the country’s external debt as a cause for worry.
Nigeria has lost about ₦6 trillion across different sectors due to the Apapa gridlock. The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association said this at its 62nd Annual General Meeting in Lagos, and called for urgent policy reform for businesses to operate optimally. The OPS survey shows that the country lost about ₦3.06 trillion on non-oil export and about ₦2.5 trillion earnings annually across the different sectors due to the gridlock, Mauricio Alarcon, NECA’s second vice president said. He also noted that the operational hiccups still exist at the port despite a presidential executive order to promote the efficiency of operations. Hence, called for the need to fast-track infrastructural development at the Lagos port.
The CBN has injected $210 million into the interbank segment of the Foreign Exchange Market. Isaac Okorafor, the regulator’s spokesman said that authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market got the sum of $100 million, while the Small and Medium Enterprises window received $55million. The total sum of $55 million was equally allocated to customers requiring forex for Invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance, among others. Last Friday, the regulator made an intervention of $298.7 million and CNY39.6 million for the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales segment. Okorafor reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to sustaining the level of stability in the forex market.
The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Justice Tanko Muhammad as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria. Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, announced the confirmation at plenary a few minutes after Muhammad was screened by the lawmakers. Muhammad has been acting CJN since 25 January when his predecessor, Justice Walter Onnoghen, was suspended from office over alleged corrupt practices. President Buhari had last Thursday forwarded to the Senate, a letter requesting for confirmation of Muhammad as substantive CJN. The President in the letter of request said the nomination was a sequel to the recommendation made to that effect by the National Judicial Council.