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The International Monetary Fund has projected that Nigeria’s government gross debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio will rise to 42 per cent by 2026 from 35.7 per cent in 2021.

The IMF said this in the October 2021 Fiscal Monitor Report published on its website.

It said the country’s gross debt-to-GDP ratio would increase from 35.7 per cent in 2021 to 36.9 per cent in 2022, 37.7 per cent in 2023, 39.1 per cent in 2024 and 40.6 per cent in 2025.

According to the report, the gross debt includes overdrafts from the Central Bank of Nigeria and liabilities of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria.

It said the general government revenue-to-GDP ratio would decrease from 7.2 per cent in 2021 to 6.5 per cent in 2026, while the general government expenditure-to-GDP ratio would decreased from 13.3 per cent in 2021 to 12.6 per cent in 2026.

The IMF said the general government net debt-to-GDP ratio would increase from 35.3 per cent in 2021 to 41.8 per cent in 2026.

According to the report, the net debt includes overdrafts from the CBN and liabilities of AMCON.

“The overdrafts and government deposits at the Central Bank of Nigeria almost cancel each other out, and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria debt is roughly halved,” it added.

The report said for low-income developing countries like Nigeria, average gross debt in 2021 would likely remain stable at almost 50 per cent in 2020, while debt vulnerabilities “are expected to be high with the room for more borrowing getting smaller”.

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