FG Borrows N3.2Trillion Through Treasury Bills In 2020, Pays N253bn Interest – Complete News

In 2020, the Federal Government of Nigeria borrowed N3.2 trillion from the investing public through treasury bills, TBs, and paid N253 billion as interest on TB borrowings from January to September 2020. 

This represents a marginal increase of 1.9 percent, year-on-year, y/y,  when compared with the N3.13 trillion borrowed through the instrument in 2019, Complete News learnt. 

Furthermore,  the amount borrowed in 2020 represents 84 percent of the N3.71 trillion treasury bills borrowing that matured and were repaid in 2020. 

Vanguard Newspapers analysis of TBs issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on behalf of the federal government (FG) showed that the amount of matured TBs repaid rose by 19 percent, y/y,   to N3.71 trillion in 2020 from N3.12 trillion in 2019. 

Further analysis showed that the FG borrowed N922.3 billion  the first quarter (Q1’2020) representing 29 percent, quarter-on-quarter (q/q) increase when compared with the N716.26 billion borrowed in the fourth quarter of 2019 FG, however, borrowed less in  the second quarter (Q2’2020) as the amount of TBs sold dropped by 36 percent, q/q, to N593.7 billion. 

But the volume spiked in Q3’2020, as the TBs sold on behalf of the FG shot up by   68 percent, q/q, to N1 trillion, before falling by 39 percent, q/q, to N614 billion in Q4’2020. Analysis of matured TBs repaid, showed that FG in Q1’2020 repaid N1.27 trillion. Matured TBs repaid, however, dropped by 63 percent, q/q,  in Q2’2020 to N470.6 billion. The amount of TBs repaid picked up by 134 percent, q/q, in Q3’2020 to N1.1 trillion before falling by 21 percent, q/q to N864.4 billion in Q4’2020. 

Vanguard analysis further showed that the N3.2 trillion borrowed by the FG  through TBs in 2020 represents 60 percent more than the N2 trillion borrowed through the monthly FGN Bond sale by the Debt Management Office (DMO) This  reflects the impact of sharp fall in yields on TBs on the borrowing activities of the FG from the domestic market in 2020. 

Analysis showed that the average interest rate on freshly issued TBs also known as Primary Market bills fell to  0.09 percent in December 2020 from 4.8 percent in December 2019. This represents  4,746 basis points (bpts) decline.   This was compounded by the exclusion of local investors from the secondary market (Open Market Operations)  TBs. 

As a result FG paid less interest on TBs borrowing in the nine months ended September 2020.   Data from DMO showed the FG paid N253 billion as interest on TB borrowings from January to September 2020, down by 6.6 percent from N271 billion paid in the corresponding period of 2019.