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Nigeria has not defaulted on Chinese debt – DMO

Subsidy removal buys breathing space for debt-ridden Nigeria

Nigeria’s Debt Management Office (DMO) has called on the general public to disregard news that the Federal Government of Nigeria has defaulted on its Chinese debt.

This was disclosed in a statement by the DMO on Wednesday afternoon, reacting to media reports of the default in a statement titled “Rebuttal of False publication by some media houses”.

The DMO noted that the FG is committed to its debt obligations and has not defaulted.

The Debt Management Office said it strongly refutes claims by certain media outlets that Nigeria has defaulted on any of its loan repayments to China.

“Nigeria remains unwaveringly committed to fulfilling its debt obligations in a responsible and timely manner.

“The attention of the Debt Management Office (DMO) has been drawn to a publication by some media house claiming that Nigeria has defaulted in debt repayment to China which it claimed ” penalties stand at N41.21″ billion.

The general public were urged to ignore the publication as it is false.

According to the statement from DMO, a closer look at the media publication shows that the body of the publication is completely detached from the headline which gives the impression that the publishers of the report may have sent it out to mislead the public.

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“The Public is assured that Nigeria is fully committed to honoring its debt obligations and has not defaulted on any of its debt service obligations, the media report should therefore be disregarded,” the statement said.

As of  December 2021, DMO said Nigeria’s debt to China stood at $4.1 billion as of September 2021. This balance is out of a total debt of $6.5 billion available for Nigeria to draw down.

According to the government, Chinese loans are project-tied loans. Some of these 11 projects as of March 31, 2020, are the Nigerian Railway Modernization Project (Idu-Kaduna section), Abuja Light Rail Project, Nigerian Four Airport Terminals Expansion Project (Abuja, Kano, Lagos, and Port Harcourt), Nigerian Railway Modernization Project (Lagos-Ibadan section), and Rehabilitation and Upgrading of Abuja-Keffi- Makurdi Road Project.