The Structure Of The Nigerian Domestic Debt And Its Impact On Foreign Exchange Earning

  • Format
  • Pages
  • Chapters



Cover page

Title page

Approval page




Table of content


1.0     Introduction

1.1     Background of the research

1.2     Statement of research problem

1.3     Objectives of the study

1.4     Significance of the study

1.5     Scope of the study

1.6     Research question

1.7     Limitation of the study

1.8     Definition of terms



2.0     Introduction

2.1     Source of literature

2.2     Review of concept

2.3     Review of related work

2.4     Empirical studies

2.5     Summary of review



3.1     Research method

3.2     Fact finding method

3.2     Sources of Data

3.3     Population of the study

3.4     Sample and Sampling

3.5     Research Instrument

3.6     Method of Investigation

3.7     Method of Data Analysis


Data presentation and analysis

4.1 Data presentation and Analysis

4.2 Discussion



5.1     Summary

5.2     Conclusion

5.3 Recommendation





Domestic debt reduction in Nigeria has taken centre stage for conversing realistic pricing of petroleum products in Nigeria as the domestic debt profile has been rising astronomically and if not controlled could create some unfavorable consequences as crowding out private sector investment, poor GDP growth etc,(Okonjo-Iweala,2011). On the other hand, government has to continue to finance projects to grow the economy and one viable option of doing so is by issuing debt instruments. For example, the 2012 national budget presented to the national assembly contains a deficit of N1.11trillion which has to be financed majorly through domestic debt. As at September 2011, Nigerian domestic debt stood at N5.3 trillion, an equivalent of $34.4 billion  while external debt was $5.6 billion bringing the National debt to a total of  40 billion dollar which amounted to 19.6 percent of GDP, (Nwankwo2011) showing that the debt ratio is still below the internationally unacceptable standard of 40 percent  of GDP. However,  beyond consideration  of maximum acceptable debt-GDP ratio of 0.40 a more critical consideration for economic growth is the country’s absorptive capacity which might be quite be low a given threshold.  Domestic debt is therefore a topic to examine at this point of national development when unemployment is critically high and the global economic crisis is far from being resolved.

Domestic debts are debts instrument issues by the federal government and denominated in local currency.   State and local government can also issue debt instrument, but debt instrument currently in issue consists of Nigerian treasury bills, federal government development stocks and treasury bonds. Out of these treasury bills and development stocks are marketable and negotiable, while treasury bonds; ways and means advances are not marketable but held solely by the central bank of Nigeria, (Adafu et al 2010). The central bank of Nigeria (CBN) as banker and financial adviser to the federal government is charged with the responsibility for managing the domestic public debt. (Alison et al 2003) reveal three principal reasons often advanced for government domestic debt. The first is for budget deficit financing, second, is for implementing monetary policy and the third is to develop instruments so as to deepen the financial market.  Whatever the purpose, the government should find a way of managing the domestic debt so that the level of debt is not counter productive. The researcher therefore set out to investigate the structure and effects of rising domestic debt and for this purpose, the paper is divided into five sections. Besides the introductory section, section two, examines the relevant literature exploring the genesis of public debt financing and its management, section three  examines the methodology of investigation, section  four discusses the research findings and section  five raps it up with summary and policy prescriptions.


Debt is created by the act of borrowing. It is defined according to Oyejide et al (1985) as the resource or money in use in an organization which in not contributed by its owner and does not in anyway belong to them. It is a liability represented by a financial instrument or other formal equivalent. In modern law, debt has no precisely fixed meaning and may be regarded essential as that which one person legally owes to another or an obligation that is enforceable by legally action to make payment of money. When a government borrows, the debt is a public debt. Public debts either internal or external are debts incurred by the government through borrowing domestic investments. Debts are classified into two i.e. reproductive debt and dead weight debt. When a loan is obtained to enable the state or nation to purchase some sort of assets, the debt is said to be reproductive e.g. money borrowed for acquiring factories, electricity refineries etc. However, debt undertaken to finance wars and expenses on current expenditure are dead weight debts.

Developing countries, like Nigeria, were characterized by inadequate internal capital formation arising from the vicious circle of low productive, low income and low savings. Nigeria is the world’s seventh-largest oil exporter but also one of the poorest. Nigeria’s domestic debt has been rising fuelled primarily by escalating fiscal. At the end of 2002, total federal government domestic debt outstanding amounted to 1,166. 0 million and in 2003, it rose to 1,329 million and in 2005, it amounted to 1,525,906 million and in 2006 it rose to 1,753,259, million (source: CBN statistical bulletin (2006).

The dramatic growth in the domestic debt outstanding has raised many doubts about fiscal sustainability of the current economic policy. The concerns about sustainability have also been compounded by those related to the very short maturity of most of the government domestic debt, and also the fact that the central bank of Nigeria (CBN) still remains the dominant holder of federal government domestic debt instrument.

The need to issue domestic debt can arise both from government deficits that are not fully foreign financed sand from implementation of monetary policy. Generally a deficit leads to a change in government net assets. Hence, a budget deficit can be financed by either drawing down assets or incurring new liabilities, either domestic or foreign. The choice between foreign and domestic borrowings, turn depends on cost (interest rates), maturity structure and risks. The terms of foreign borrowings are often more favorable than for domestic borrowing. Since domestic borrowings, carry much higher interest rates and have shorter maturities. Another advantage of foreign borrowing is that it increases the supply of foreign exchange, which is critical to meet important requirements. One drawback to foreign borrowing is currency risk, which may increase along with foreign indebtedness, given that a growing foreign debt service increases the demand for foreign exchange. Despite the attractiveness of foreign borrowing, governments may still consider domestic borrowing for a number of reasons. First, the supply of foreign (concessional) financing may be determined by the bid agencies, budgets and their assessment of the economic performance of the recipient country. Secondly international aid is very often linked to project financing and therefore cannot finance a government’s recurrent expenditure not supported by donors. Hence, government with large recurrent budget deficits may be forced to tap domestic savings, including through issuance of domest5ic debt, to close their budget gaps.

Economic theory suggests that reasonable levels of borrowing by the federal government are likely to enhance it s economic growth (Pattilo, Ricci and Poirson 2002). When economic growth is enhance (at least more than 5% growth rate), the economy’s poverty situation is likely to be affected positively. In order to encourage growth, the federal government buys debt instruments for a specified period of time. The instruments are used to finance government deficits in a non- inflationary and sustainable manner to enhance fiscal discipline and for the management of monetary policies. As escalating debt profile presents serious obstacles to a nation path to economic growth and development. The cost of servicing public debt (domestic and external) may expand beyond the capacity of the economic to cope, there by impacting negatively on the ability to achieve the desired fiscal and monetary policy objectives. Furthermore, a rising debt burden may constrain the ability of the government to undertake more productive investment programmers’ in infrastructure, education and public health.

Many, developing countries resort to domestic borrowing to bridge the domestic resources gap in order to accelerate economic development. It means that the federal government can resort to domestic borrowing provided that the proceeds are utilized in a productive way that will facilitate the eventual servicing and liquidation of debt. Stieglitz (2002) contributed that government borrowings can crowd out investment, which will reduce future output and wages. When wages and output are affected the welfare of the citizens will be made vulnerable.

Soludo (2003), opined that federal government for two broad categories.

a)       Macroeconomic reasons (higher investment, higher consumption (education and health).

b)      To finance statutory balance of payment deficits.

This implies that the economic indulges in debt to boost the economic growth. He is also of the opinion that once an initial stock of debt grows to a certain threshold, servicing them becomes a burden and countries find themselves in a wrong side of the economy’s development, with debt

crowding out investment and growth. The sharp increase in the domestic debt stock, over the years was attributable largely to the failure to embark on necessary adjustment, particularly at the time of declining revenue that resulted in growing fiscal deficits and further domestic debt accumulation. The bulk of domestic debt has been in short term treasury securities with maturities of less than one year. Nigeria’s debt burden has grave consequence for the economy and the welfare of the citizens. The servicing of domestic debt has severely encroached on resources available for socio-economic development and poverty alleviation. Nigeria’s domestic debt has been rising over the years. Table 1 below shows data on Nigeria’s domestic debt has increased steadily under Obasonjo’s Administration, it increased by almost 50% between 2000 and 2002. It is confirmed from an analysis of the data that, during the entire period, a majority of the domestic debt was held in short term instruments, the 91-day Treasury bills constituted over 57% of total domestic and approximately 63% in 2002. The rest of the public domestic debt stock has been generally held in treasury bonds and development stocks. The CBN has been ascertained the leading holder of domestic debt. In 199, the CBN held 65% of the total domestic debt, in 2000 its percentage share was 57.9 while in 2001, and its share rose to 66.9%.

However, its share fell to 46% in 2002. Also because of the short-term nature of the domestic debt, an amount equivalent to 20% of the GDP comes due for payment every three months. The government strategy has been to borrow the same amount to pass off the maturing debt and interest due. CBN, as the under writer of government securities, has stood ready to absorb the under subscribed amount of securities in the weekly primary actions.


Table 1:      Nigeria: Federal Government Domestic Debt Outstanding 1998-2002 (in million of Naira)













By Instrument

Treasure Bills






Treasure Certificate






Development Stock












By Holders

Banking Sector






Central Bank

Get the Complete Project

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like