Lagos owes N780.48b, leading debtor states

Lagos must N780.48b, followed by Ogun, Rivers, Imo

By Jeph Ajobaju, Editor-in-Chief

Lagos, which generates the most Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of any state at N51 billion per month, also owes the largest domestic debt at N780.48 billion, followed by its southern compatriot Ogun. -west, and Rivers in the south-south.

The domestic debt of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) reached N4.84 trillion in the first quarter ended March 2022 (Q1 2022), an increase of 8.6% from 4.46 trillion naira in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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Figures released by the Debt Management Office (DMO) show the combined debt increased by 17.5% from N4.12 trillion in the first quarter of 2021.

Lagos, Ogun and Rivers moved up the rankings with a combined 26% of the states’ total domestic debt.

Nigeria’s total debt increased from 39.56 trillion naira in the fourth quarter of 2021 to 41.6 trillion naira in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 2.05 trillion naira.

10 main debtors

The ten main national debtors of States in the first quarter of 2022 are:

  • Lagos – N780.48 billion (16.1% of total)
  • Ogun – N241.98 billion (6.1%)
  • Rivers – N225.51 billion
  • IMO – N204.61 billion
  • Akwa Ibom – N203.11 billion
  • Delta – N163.48 billion
  • Cross River – N158.93 billion
  • Plateau – N152.1 billion
  • Bayelsa – N151.41 billion
  • Oyo – N141.19 billion

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The largest increase in debt

According to data from the DMO, for Nairametry report, the states with the largest increases in debt in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter of 2021 are:

  • Lagos – 780.48 billion naira vs 507.38 billion naira (up from 273.1 billion naira)
  • Ogun – 241.98 billion naira vs 156.34 billion naira
  • Imo – 204.61 billion naira vs 149.89 billion naira (up from 54.72 billion naira)
  • Oyo – increased by 49.24 billion naira
  • Kwara – increased by 41.41 billion naira

Largest decrease in debt

  • Delta – from N50.3 billion
  • Rivers – from 41.43 billion naira
  • Akwa Ibom – from N29.1 billion

Highest percentage increase in debt

  • Sokoto – 66.2%
  • Kawara – 65.5%
  • Ogun – 54.8%

Lowest percentage increase in debt

  • Delta (-23.5%)
  • Rivers (-15.5%)
  • Abuja (26.4%)

Debt to GDP ratio

“While total public debt to GDP at 23.27% was below Nigeria’s self-imposed limit of 40%, the government’s push to increase and diversify revenue remains a priority to ensure the sustainability of public debt,” the DMO said.

“The initiatives in this regard are yielding results, as the actual income from January to November 2021 at 5.51 trillion naira was 39.21% higher than the 3.96 trillion naira recorded in 2020.

“Similarly, the share of non-oil revenue increased to 80% from 61% in 2020.”


Nigeria’s debt-to-GDP ratio rose to 23.27% in Q1 2022 from 22.47% in Q4 2021. It is below the self-imposed limit of 40% but is rising rapidly due to the increased borrowing and slow economic growth.

States borrow funds from domestic and foreign markets to meet their expenses, especially when they do not generate enough RGI or have to carry out projects that require huge capital.