Nigeria’s Treasury Bills debt surges to N10.4 trillion, largest balance in Nigerian history 

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Nigeria’s Treasury Bills (T-Bills) debt has surged to a record N10.4 trillion, marking a 60% increase in just three months, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO). This significant rise, from N6.5 trillion in December 2023 to N10.4 trillion in March 2024, now accounts for 16% of the country’s domestic debt portfolio and 4.37% of its GDP.

The DMO, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), issued numerous T-Bills in the first half of 2024 to manage inflation and fund government expenditures. The first quarter alone saw N2.1 trillion in T-Bills offered, attracting a massive N21.7 trillion in subscriptions, with allotments totaling N5.64 trillion. The high demand continued into the second quarter, driven by investor preference for fixed-income securities offering yields up to 21.1%.

Under President Bola Tinubu, the government has increasingly relied on domestic debt markets, particularly T-Bills, to meet short-term obligations. This strategy contrasts with the previous administration’s dependence on Central Bank advances.

Despite oversubscription in T-Bills auctions, concerns grow over the rising cost of servicing this debt, with true yields nearing 30% annually. Additionally, Nigeria’s total domestic debt climbed to N65.6 trillion in Q1 2024, raising the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio to 48.2%, above the self-imposed limit of 40%.

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