ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria has issued debt securities worth $1.18 billion to settle various judgment debts, outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari said in a public letter requesting parliament’s approval.
Buhari, who is due on Monday to hand over power to President-elect Bola Tinubu, said his cabinet approved on March 29 the settlement of judgment and general debts owed by government by issuing promissory notes.
Courts generally issue judgment debt to award creditors or debt collectors who are seeking to settle debt disputes.
The judgment debts in the sum of $566.75 million, 98.52 million pounds sterling($124.35 million) and 226.28 billion naira ($491.92 million) were incurred by federal ministries, department and agencies, Buhari said without further details.
Nigeria has been borrowing to fund its budgets under the outgoing administration. The government will issue promissory notes to the debtors which it will pay out from its annual budget spending over time, Buhari said.
The promissory notes “will then be redeemed over time through provisions in the budgets of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” Buhari wrote in a letter to Senate President Ahmad Lawan requesting approval. The letter was read in the Senate on Wednesday.
The Senate is expected to approve the measure.
Nigeria’s total public debt rose to 46.25 trillion naira ($103.1 billion) in 2022, from 39.56 trillion naira a year earlier, as the government ramped up borrowing to fund its budget deficit amid high global inflation.
($1 = 460.00 naira)
($1 = 0.79 pounds)
(Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by George Obulutsa and Aurora Ellis)