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The Role of Private Creditors in Nigeria's Debt Crisis and the Human Cost

A growing proportion of external debt owed to private creditors under opaque terms are often subject to high interest rates, and this is contributing to spiralling debt servicing costs, increasing the risks to Nigeria's economy. This trend is playing out in a context of poor transparency in lending more generally (which is a barrier to holding governments accountable for debts they incur) alongside the deep economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated fiscal constraints.

This report examines the implications of this alongside other challenges, including Nigeria's low tax base and dependence on oil revenues, volatile exchange rates and the need for investment in infrastructure. It outlines the risks for a people-centred recovery and future generations, with a focus on public spending on Nigeria's health and education services.