Lagos State, South West Nigeria, is number one among the Highly Indebted States in Nigeria in both external and domestic debts with N1.043 trillion in 2018, in a latest report by the Economic Confidential.
While the external debt stock of Lagos amounts to N513.514 billion, the local debt stock settled at N530.243 billion.
In a meticulous investigation by a team of Economic Confidential researchers on the Annual High Indebted States (AHIS) on External and Domestic Debts as of 2018, the amount owed by Lagos State represents about twenty (20) percent of the total debts owed by the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which is N5.376 trillion in 2018.
Among the front runners in the highly indebted states for the external debt stock include Edo, Kaduna, Cross River and Bauchi with $276.25m (N99.45bn), $227.25m (N81.81bn), $188.77m (N67.95bn), and $133.93m (N48.21bn) respectively.
Investigations further reveal that among the first five highly indebted states in the local debt stock saw Lagos emerging tops with N530.243 billion, followed by Delta state with N228.805 billion, Rivers with N225.592 billion, Akwa Ibom state with N198.663 billion and Cross River with N167.955 billion.
The report further shows that outside Lagos state that is leading the pack, Rivers state is second with N253.772 billion, Delta comes to third position with N251.589 billion, followed by Cross River in the fourth position with N235.914 billion and the fifth position was grabbed by Akwa Ibom with N215.099 billion.
The investigation also brought to the fore that five states made the list of least indebted states in the external debt stock with Taraba state having $21.611m (N7.780bn), followed by Borno with $21.618m(N7.782bn), and Yobe state with $27.486m(N9.895bn) all in North Eastern Nigeria.
The remaining two states of Plateau and Kogi from North Central Nigeria have external debt stock of $28.874m (N10.394bn) and $31.584m (N11.370bn) respectively.
Of the 36 states of the federation, five (5) states account for the lowest in both domestic and external debts. They are: Yobe, Jigawa, Sokoto, Katsina and Niger.
Yobe state has a total of N37.667 billion, Jigawa N46.586 billion, Sokoto with N52.723 billion, while Katsina and Niger states have N53.220 billion and N63.915 billion respectively.
Though the Federal Capital Territory is not rated among the 36 states of the federation, its external debt profile for 2018 is $31.848 million(N11.465bn) while the domestic debt is N164.245bn bringing a total of its external and domestic debts to N175.710bn.
The report is coming at a time when several states in the country are backward in terms of internally generated revenue to execute projects that would touch lives apart from the fact that most of these states rely heavily on handouts from the monthly federal allocations from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).
Recall that Economic Confidential recently published a report detailing each states’ revenue generation profile in comparison to their federal allocations and concluded that many states cannot survive without federation accounts, a development regarded as a misnomer in the current economic realities