Nigeria Has Never Defaulted In China Loan Repayments –DMO

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Nigerian debt repayments to China were not in default, contrary to a media allegation, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO). The DMO in Abuja issued a statement on Wednesday advising the public to disregard the news since it is untrue.

“The DMO’s attention has been directed to a publication by several media outlets that asserts Nigeria has defaulted on its debt repayment obligations to China, with a penalty of N4.31 billion, according to the article.

“A closer look at the media publication shows that the body of the publication is completely detached from the headline.

“It gives the impression that the publishers of the report may have set out to mislead the public.

“The public is assured that Nigeria is fully committed to honouring its debt obligations and has not defaulted on any of its debt service obligations,’’ the DMO said. It emphasised that the media report should be disregarded.

Nigeria has failed to service its debt to China which has accumulated to N110.31 billion in the last two years.

It said, “According to a report by the Debt Management Office (DMO), the China debt stock included the principal and repayment charges. DMO said that from January 2021 to December 2022, the principal fee stood at N69, 009,417,500 ($153.85million), while the interest charges amounted to the sum of N41, 311,455,000 ($92.1million).

“The debts were incurred following the completion of the Nigeria Railway Modernisation Project (Idu-Kaduna Section), the Nigeria Railway Modernisation Project (Lagos-Ibadan Section) and the Nigeria Abuja Light Rail Project.

“A breakdown of the data showed that in 2021, Idu-Kaduna Section’s principal fee was $ 38.46 million (N17.25bn) while interest earmarked is $ 9.5 million (N4.26bn). The Lagos-Ibadan section’s principal was not noted, although its interest stood at $ 24.07 million (N10.80bn).

“During the period, the Abuja Light Rail Project had its principal amount at $38.46 million (N17.25bn), while the interest rate accumulated to $11.45 million (N5.14bn).

“As at 2022, the principal on Idu-Kaduna Section was $38.46 million (N17.25bn), while the interest fee was $8.52 million (N3.82bn). The Lagos-Ibadan Section interest fee stood the highest at $ 28.06 million (N12.59bn) with the principal amount not indicated”.

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