How Accurate is Osinbajo’s claim that Nigeria debt only increased by $10 billion since Buhari assumed office?


The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has said that the nation’s debt was $73 billion, a $10 billion increment from $63 billion the present administration inherited in 2015.

He made the disclosure in Ibadan on Saturday during the 9th Public Lecture of Sigma Club at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.

THE CLAIM:

“In 2010 our debt was $35 billion, $41 billion in 2011, $48 billion in 2012, $64 billion in 2013, $67.7 billion in 2014, $63.8 billion in 2015, $57.8 billion in 2016, $70 billion in 2017 and $73 billion in 2018.

“The nation’s debt as at today was $73 billion, an increment of $10 billion from the $63 billion inherited in 2015,”

VERIFICATION OF CLAIM

According to the Debt Management Office, as at June 2015, The External Debt Stock of Federal Government and the 36 States stood at $10.316 Billion; Domestic Debt Stock (FGN Only) was $42.633 Billion and Domestic Debt of States was $10.856 Billion which gives a grand total public debt stock of $63.806 Billion

Also, according to the same document from Debt Management Office, the total public debt stock as at June 2018 stood at $73.207 Billion with breakdown as follows: federal Government and the 36 states owe $22.083 Billion, Domestic Debt (FGN Only) is $39.749 Billion and total Domestic Debt of States and the FCT stood at $11.374 Billion.

Further analysis of Nigeria Debt Stock also revealed that in 2012, Nigeria’s debt stock was $48.496 Billion, in 2013, it was $64.509 Billion, in 2014, it was $67.726 Billion, In 2016, it stood at $57.391 Billion and as at December 31st 2017, the total debt stock was $70.999 Billion

These figures, according to the Debt Management Office substantiate same figures quoted by the Vice President where he said “In 2010 our debt was $35 billion, $41 billion in 2011, $48 billion in 2012, $64 billion in 2013, $67.7 billion in 2014, $63.8 billion in 2015, $57.8 billion in 2016, $70 billion in 2017 and $73 billion in 2018”

There was no available record on the Website of the Debt Management Office for 2010 and 2011, so it is difficult to verify the VP’s debt figure of $35 and $41 billion for 2010 and 2011 respectively.

However, going by available data on public debt stock from 2012 till date, the total debt of the country in 2015 was $63.806 Billion and the current debt figure as at June 2018 stood at $73.207 Billion which is the same as the figure quoted by the vice president on Saturday.

Therefore, the claim by the vice president that this government has only increased the nation’s debt stock by only $10 billion from $63 billion this present administration inherited in 2015 is TRUE.

Akintunde Babatunde is a program officer with the Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism. A dedicated researcher, channeling his skills towards the unveiling of political propaganda and demystifying the secrecy associated with government projects. A diligent and hardworking intellectual, he holds a bachelor’s degree in educational management and mathematics.