This research work is titled “An Analysis of External Debt on Economic Growth in Nigeria. “(1992-2010).

External borrowing is a source through which many countries sources revenues for development and economic growth of their countries. But this revenue can only solve the problems of gross under development when judiciously utilized.

The burden of Nigeria external debt is much and the state of economic growth in the country is hampered due to debt crisis.

The debt problem facing Nigeria is concerned on how to stop incurring more debt and device a way of servicing the existing debt without causing some distortions in the economy. For effective and efficient debt servicing, factors that hiders it has to be taken into consideration i.e. domestic financing polices, debt management and external economic environment.

External Debt affects the economic growth, and employment rate in the country. However, from my analysis of test of correlation, using Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient, External Debt affect money supplied negatively. This means external debt has a significant negative impact on money supply. So, Nigeria can solicit for debt cancellation from its creditors and also adopt debt management as part of its macro economic policies of the nation and finally engage in productive project.


Title Page





List of Tables


Table of Content


1.1 Background of the Study

1.2 Objective of the Study

1.3 Research Hypothesis

1.4 Statement of the Problem

1.5 Significant of the Study

1.6 Scope, Limitation and Delimitations

1.7 Definition of Terms




2.0 Review of Related Literature


2.1 Introduction


2.2 Definition of External Debt and Economic Growth


2.3 Economic Growth


2.4 Causes of External Debt Crisis in Nigeria


2.5 Consequences of Nigeria’s External Debt


2.6 The Nature of Economic Growth in Nigeria


2.7 Condition for Rapid Economic Growth

2.8 Sources of Nigeria’s External Debt

2.9 Nigeria’s Debt Management Strategies


2.10 Problems and Prospects of Nigeria External Debts




2.10.1 Problems


2.10.2 Prospects


2.11 Suggested Debt Management Policies






3.0 Methodology


3.1 Theoretical Framework


3.2 Mode of Specification


3.3 Method of Evaluation


3.4 Data Required and Sources


3.4.1 Primary Source of Data


3.4.2 Secondary Source of Data


3.4.3 Location of Data


3.5 Description of Population


3.5.1 Sample Size






4.0 Data Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation


4.1 Presentation of Data for Hypothesis one


4.2 Text of Hypothesis Two


4.2.1 Presentation of Data for Hypothesis Two


4.3 Presentation of Data for Hypothesis three






5.0 Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendation


5.1 Summary of Findings


5.2 Conclusion


5.3 Recommendation




Appendix I


Appendix II








Securing external loan is inevitable for a government when the economy faces financial crisis. There is no iota of doubt that Nigeria, just as other developing countries, is facing serious debt crisis. It has therefore emphasized the use of external loans for financing public expenditure (National library 2006).


It is generally expected that developing countries, facing a scarcity of capital, will acquire external debt to supplement domestic saving (pattillo,etal 2002;safdari; and meherizi 2011).


According to global development finance (2009), “every country in the world aims at achieving economic growth and development”. However this is only possible if a country has adequate resources. In developing countries especially those in sub Sahara African the resources to finance the optimal level of economic growth and development are in short supply. This ploughed with problem of low domestic savings, low tax revenue, low productivity and meager foreign exchanger earnings.


Basically, for these reason, many developing counties yearning for economics growth inevitably resort to external financing to bridge the gap between their savings and investments. In the process of obtaining Finance from abroad, a country may consider several options: grants, foreign investment and loans (concessional and non- concessional ) in that order, However mix of these capital inflow in varying proportion could be obtained depending on the socio- economic and political situation in a country(World Bank 2009).


According to (CBN annual report 2002) “Nigeria like most developing countries borrowed from external sources mainly for investment purpose. The country external debt sustainable up to mid 1970s, from the late 1979s because of poor macro-economic management and declining prices of crude oil, the country’s external debt began its upward movement. Thus from an external debt of US$ 557.74 millions in 1975. Nigeria debt packed at US$33 .billions in 1990 before declining to US$27.1 billion in 1997 and rose to US$28.8 billion in 1998. (CBN annual report 2002).


However, one of the greatest problem facing African countries basically classified as the amount of their external indebtedness (World Bank African Data base, 2003). This problem of increasing rate of the external debt is threatening the development programmed embarked upon by these countries, thereby retarding their economics growth and development, the reason being that the size of debt relative to size of the economic GNP is enormous. Also, the current system of debt management has a serious macro-economic impact on the economy’s outputs: as such, there is an urgent need to reduced African total outstanding debt service payments as well as accumulating of arrears on payments.


(Anyanwa etal 1993)” in 1986, the federal government introduced the structural adjustment progrmme (SAP)”, to address the problem of structural imbalance in the economy and create an atmosphere for the achievement of macro- economics stability. It is obvious that one of the integral parts of the SAP is to reduce Nigeria huge debt. It is a fact that if the enormous amount spent on debt service payment could be reduced greatly, the country will be able to finance a large volume of domestic investment which enhances growth and development.


Nigeria situation is likened to an extravagant person who is hosting his friends and associated to an all exercise-paid , no holds barred party, when after the parting found himself unable to setting even a fraction of the bill and all the guest gone, not even a person to be seen to offer moral succor to the lavish host. This vividly describes the Nigeria’s external debt problem. Having wastes all the borrowed funds and having nothing to show for it, Nigeria is woken to unending knocks of the creditors.


Unfortunately, an ability to pay is close to zero. This is becomes more pathetic when it can be seen that Nigeria is now called upon to pay when the economy is in depressed mood. More so, the borrowed funds are embarked on ill conceived project which are equally badly implemented. however, the new international economic order sets out as one of its objective to secure favorable condition for they transfer of resources to developing countries and to ensure that a countries resources are fully utilizes for the development of the country concerned. Thus, Nigeria resorted to external borrowing early in her history so as to quicken the pace of economic development. The issue of Nigeria’s external debt generated much public concern at the beginning of 1980 (World Bank African Data Base 2003).


(Ugwu 2011), the etymology of Nigeria external debt can be traced back to 1958 when a sum of us$28 million was contracted for railway construction. Between 1958 and 1977, the resort to foreign debt was minimal, as debts contracted during the period were the confessional debt from bilateral and multilateral sources with longer repayment period and lower interest rates constituting about 78.5 percent of the total debt stock. From 1978, following the collapse of oil price, which exerted considerable pressure on the government finance, it became necessary to borrow for balance of payment support and project financing. This led to the promulgation of Decree No.30. Of 1978, limiting the first major borrowing of US$ 1billion refereed to as the “jumbo loan” was contracted from the international capital market (1 CM) in 1978, increasing the total external debt stock to us$2.2 billion. Therefore, the spate of borrowing increased with the entry of state government into external loan contractual obligations .while the share of loans from bilateral and multilateral sources declined substantially, borrowing from private sources at stiffer rates increased considerably. Thus by 1982, the total external debt Stock was US$13.1billion.


According to the (federal ministry of finance) Nigeria inability to settle her import bill resulted in the accumulation of trade arrears amounting to US$9.8 billon between 1983 and 1988.The reconciliation exercise, which took place between 1984 and 1988, reduced the amount to US$3.8billon. The accrued interest of US$10.billon was re-capitalized bringing the total to US$4.8billon in 1988, and the debt was eventually refinanced.


Nigeria’s external debt rose further to US$33.1billon in 1990, but declined to US$27.5 billon in 1991 and increased steadily to US$32.6billon at the end of December 1995.


According to the (federal ministry of finance), the total external debt outstanding at the end of 1999 was US$ 28.0 billon, of the total outstanding debt, the Paris club constitutes the highest source of share of 73.2 percent in 1999. The balance is owed to the London club, the multilateral creditors, promissory note holders and others. Since the beginning of civilian Administration in 1999, Nigeria in concert with other debtor nations have canvassed for debt can cancellation all to no avail .However in the year 2000, arising from good performance on a preliminary programme with the international monetary fund (IMF), Nigeria debt service obligation was reduced from about US$4.0 billion to us$1 billon per annum.


(CBN 2000), by the end of December 2003, Nigeria external public debt outstanding was estimated at US$32.9 billon. Although in the year 2005 certain debt concessions were granted Nigeria of course this has made our debt obligation with the Paris club to be reduced drastically. In April 2006, Nigeria became the first African country to fully pay off its debt.


In essence, what matter most is not the amount of the foreign loans but the way and manner the loans are used in developmental process. If these loans are used for current consumption, they will have minimal impact on future economic growth, but if invested rationally in productive ventures, they will contribute positively to real, growth and enhance the productive capacity of the economy.


The fact is that development depends purely on a sustained increase in real income, which can only achieve or accumulated from economic growth.


Economic growth according to (Udabah 1999:24) “is therefore a steady process by which the productive capacity of the economy is increased over time to bring about rising levels of national income”. Growth tends to occur when total productive increase more rapidly than population, thus it is the country’s ability to maintain a strong defense or to pay for some other national project. As a matter of fact, economic growth is an ever increasing quantity of goods and services available to meet the economies need over time, hence the higher the radio of debt servicing payment, the lower the level of economic growth.


However, according to (Anyanwu etal 1997),“the primary burden of Nigeria’s public debt is indeed shifted to the future”,thereby retarding economic growth.