BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE
AFTER the euphoria of their electoral victories, one of the major challenges that will confront the President-elect, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), and 20 or 21 new governors is the level of debt stock the out-going administrations will leave behind.
According to the Debt Management Office, DMO, the Federal Government has a stock of $6.445 billion in external debt (N1.29 trillion at the rate of one dollar to N200)) and another N7. 9 trillion domestic debt totalling N9.19 trillion, as of December 31, 2014. This is the equivalent of two years budget.
The huge debt stock, if not properly managed, can hamper the delivery of democracy dividends.
According to external debt figures released by the DMO, Lagos State is the most indebted state in the country with a debt of $1,169,712,848.65 (N233.94 billion). The state had also borrowed N167.5 billion from the bond market. Thus, Lagos is owing at least N401.44 billion. This is one of the issues that Governor-elect, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode will confront when he takes over from Governor Babatunde Fashola, next month.
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