IMF Raises Alarm Over Rising Global Debts, China, US Lead With $117.5 Trillion, Nigeria Ranks High

IMF Raises Alarm Over Rising Global Debts, China, US Lead With $117.5 Trillion, Nigeria Ranks High

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is concerned about the level of global debt
  • A report by the global finance body reveals that international debts have ballooned to $235 trillion
  • It said the US and China are the major contributors to global debt, with a cumulative $117.5 trillion

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that global collective debt has ballooned to about $235 trillion, with the US and China, as two leading economies, contributing about 50% with $117.5 trillion in total debt.

The report from IMF’s global debt update published on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, describes the scale of international indebtedness.

US, China, Nigeria, IMF
President, Joe Biden, Chinese President and Nigeria's President Bola Tinubu Credit: KOLA SULAIMON / Contributor
Source: Getty Images

Global debt rises to $200 billion in two years

The report revealed that global debt galloped by $200 billion from 2021 to 2022, representing a whopping 238% increase in the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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IMF says the figure is nine percentage points higher than the 2019 level.

According to the global finance body, developed countries contribute the most to the worldwide debt burden.

IMF singled out top economies such as China and the US, which owe $47.5 trillion and $70 trillion, respectively.

IMF says China is the world’s largest non-contributor to non-financial corporate debt, with about 28% global share.

US and China are leading debtors in the world

It stated that the post-global financial crisis saw a quick boost in debt accumulation, which gave rise to other challenges and weaknesses across the major world economies.

The report comes amid Nigeria’s burgeoning debt stock, which the Debt Management Office says stands at about N87.75 trillion as of June 2023.

A recent report by says Nigeria has not serviced its debts with China in the second quarter of 2023. However, it has paid foreign creditors about $1.7 billion in obligations in the second half of 2023.

The report says Nigeria could only pay about $23 million in debt servicing to two international creditors.

5 Nigerian states owe 34% of the $5.34 trillion total domestic debt

Earlier, reported that Five Nigerian states hold more than a third of the total domestic debt owed by state governments in Nigeria.

The highest indebted states are Lagos, Delta, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, and Imo.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) said the total domestic debt owed by 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory went up by N879.50 billion in 2022 to N5.337 trillion as of December 2022.


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