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NGR- The Federal Executive Council has approved a new Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a new Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy for Nigeria (MTDS) for the period 2020-2023.

With the approval, announced during Wednesday’s virtual FEC meeting, the DMO which is saddled with managing the nation’s debt matters, has promised full implementation to support economic development while ensuring that public debt is sustainable.

The MTDS is a policy document which provides a guide to the borrowing activities of the government in the medium-term, usually four years.

It is recognised as one of the best practices in public debt management and is recommended by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ensure that public debt management is driven by a well-articulated strategy that is structured to meet a country’s broader macroeconomic and public debt management objectives.

The MTDS, 2020-2023 was prepared by the Debt Management Office (DMO), in collaboration with relevant stakeholders , including the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Budget Office of the Federation (BoF), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

Prior to the current MTDS, Nigeria has had two Medium Term Debt Management Strategies (2012-2015 and 2016-2019,.

The new Strategy had to be re-worked to reflect the global and local economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and incorporates data from the revised 2020 Appropriation Act and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2021-2023.

Reacting to the approved MTDS, Wednesday, the DMO said the new MTDS adequately reflects the current economic realities and the projected trends.

It stated that the preparation of the MTDS usually involves the consideration of alternative funding strategies available to government, as it seeks to meet its financing needs, taking into consideration the cost of borrowing and the associated risks, while ensuring debt sustainability in the medium to long-term.

The debt management agency provided an insight based on the current public debt stock, government’s borrowing needs in the medium-term (as stated in the 2021 Appropriation Act, MTEF, 2021- 2023), as well as future global trends.

According to the agency, Nigeria’s 2020-2023 MTDS can be summarised as follows: “Borrowing will be from domestic and external sources but a larger proportion of new borrowing will be from domestic sources using long-term instruments while for External Borrowing, concessional funding from multilateral and bilateral sources will be prioritised.

The implementation of the Medium-Term Debt Management Strategies over the years, has helped in managing the structure of the growing public debt, and ensured debt sustainability, as well as effectiveness in public debt management.

“With the approval of the Federal Executive Council of the MTDS, 2020-2023, the Strategy will be implemented to support economic development while ensuring that the public debt is sustainable.”

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