415% Debt Growth in Eight Years: Three Charts that Show Kaduna State Debt History,’Impacts’ on Personnel Expenditure

There has  been controversy over the debt portfolio of Kaduna State. Recently, Governor Uba Sani, said he inherited a debt of $587 million equivalent to N85 billion and the money of 115 contractor companies.

He also said that N7 billion was taken to pay off debt out of the N10 billion allocation given by the federal government to the state in March, leaving the state N3 billion, whereas the state is paying a salary of 5.2 billion every month.

This report tracks the history of Kaduna state debt before the election of former governor, Nasir El-Rufai and debt portfolio after his election.

Analysis shows that as of 2014, the domestic debt portfolio of Kaduna state stood at N16.6 billion. The analysis shows that as of December 2015, the domestic debt portfolio of the state grew to N49.8 billion, meaning that in the space of one year, the state borrowed N33.2 billion.

Between 2014 and 2023, the domestic debt of the state grew by 415%, rising from N16.6 billion to N85.5 billion.

Under the administration of the former governor, the external debt also grew by over 100%, rising from $234 million in 2014 to $587 million in 2023.

The major borrowings by the Kaduna state government happened in the second tenure of governor Nasiru El-Rufai. In 2018, the external debt of the state stood at $227 million but jumped to $554 million in 2019, meaning that between 2018 and 2019, the state borrowed another sum of $327 million.

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Should Kaduna State Debt Portfolio Affect Payment of Salaries?

WikkiTimes sampled the impact of debt servicing on personnel expenditure of the state.

In 2023, while the state budgeted the sum of N71.6 billion as personnel expenditure, it spent N53.9 billion as actual expenditure. In the same year, the sum of N27.6 billion was spent on debt servicing. 

Assuming that the state spent only N7 billion on debt servicing for the year, it would still have had N20 billion to cover for the deficit it had for personnel expenditure in 2023.

In 2022, the State fell short of its personnel expenditure by N5 billion, whereas it spent N17.2 billion on debt servicing. 

Assuming that the state spent N12.2 billion on debt servicing, perhaps it would have had N5 billion to spend on personnel expenditure.

While the controversy rages on, the SERAP has given the Kaduna state and other states an ultimatum of seven days  to account for details of loans obtained by states.

Political Crisis Looms in Kaduna over Debt Portfolio

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