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DMO History

The DMO was established on 4th October, 2000 to centrally coordinate the management of Nigeria’s debt, which was hitherto being done by a myriad of establishments in an uncoordinated fashion. This diffused debt management strategy led to inefficiencies. For instance, in the FMF alone, four different departments have functions for the management of external debt in the following format:

  • External Finance Department: responsible for all Paris Club debts and for the management of public debt statistics;
  • Multilateral Institutions Department: responsible for relationships with all multilateral institutions (excluding the African Development Bank and its subsidiaries such as ADF and the NTF, which is handled by the ABER Department). It is also responsible for managing and servicing multilateral debt;
  • Africa and Bilateral Economic Relations (ABER) Department: responsible for liaising with the ADB and its subsidiaries, ECOWAS, and all non-Paris Club bilateral creditors;
  • Treasury Department (OAGF): responsible for issuing mandate to the CBN for payment of all external debts;
  • Foreign Exchange and Trade Relations Department: responsible for issuing reconfirmation for payment externalization to the CBN and for documenting repayment and servicing of external debts;

In the CBN, the following departments had some involvement with external debt

  • Debt Management Department: responsible for the London Club debts consisting of trade debts, par bonds, and promissory notes;
  • Debt Conversion Committee: responsible for managing various debt conversion options such as debt-for-debt, debt-for-equity, debt-for-export, debt-fornature, and debt-for-development; and
  • Various departments: responsible for processing and effecting loan repayments on behalf of all the other agencies or departments of government listed above.

This diffusion in the management of public debt created fundamental problems, including the following:

Operational inefficiency and poor coordination;

  • Inadequate debt data recording system and poor information flow across agencies with consequent inaccurate and incomplete debt records;
  • Extreme difficulty in the verification of creditors’ claims due to conflicting figures from the various bodies handling the debt management function;
  • Complicated and inefficient debt service arrangements, which created protracted payment procedure and often led to penalties that added to the nation’s debt stock;
  • Inadequate manpower and poor incentive systems for the affected personnel, which affected outputs and performance;
  • Lack of consistent well-defined borrowing policies and debt management strategies;

The consideration of these myriad problems led government to support the establishment of a relatively autonomous debt management office, which resulted in the formation of the DMO in October 2000. The need for the creation of a separate public debt management office was therefore aimed at achieving the following advantages:

  • Good debt management practices that make positive impact on economic growth and national development, particularly in reducing debt stock and cost of public debt servicing in a manner that saves resources for investment in poverty reduction programs;
  • Prudently raising financing to fund government deficits at affordable costs and manageable risks in the medium- and long-term;
  • Achieving positive impact on overall macroeconomic management, including monetary and fiscal policies;
  • Consciously avoiding debt crisis and achieving an orderly growth and development of the national economy;
  • Improving the nation’s borrowing capacity and its ability to manage debt efficiently in promoting economic growth and national development;
  • Projecting and promoting a good image of Nigeria as a disciplined and organized nation, capable of managing its assets and liabilities;
    Providing opportunity for professionalism and good practice in nation building;

DMO's Client Service Charter

The DMO Client Service Charter states our commitment to stakeholders and:

  • Defines our role;
  • Outlines our commitment to serve our stakeholders;
  • Highlights our expectations of our stakeholders;
  • Provides information on how our stakeholders can contact us;
  • Gives information on our feedback mechanism;
  • Fits into our Strategic Objectives;
  • Constitutes an integral part of the way we conduct our business; and,
  • Defines our relationship with all stakeholders.

To download the Client Charter click on this link

DMO's Ease of Doing Business Guide

In line with the requirements of the FGN's Executive Order No. 001 of 2017 (E01), on the Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment,

Click on this link to find the DMO's Ease of Doing Business Guide


Click the link below to download/view the ACT establishing the Debt Management Office as enacted by the National Assembly of The Federal Republic of Nigeria


Organizational Change Initiative

1. The strategic thrust behind the reorganization efforts at the DMO is to redistribute the operational responsibility for debt management into separate front, middle, and back offices, each with its distinctive functions, accountabilities, and separate reporting lines. Such a transformation is in line with international guidelines. The new structure is designed to impose controls and to reduce exposure to risk, specifically in order to:

  • Get a separation between those executing transactions and those settling and recording transactions (front-back);
  • Get a separation between those managing a portfolio and those monitoring the performance of the of the portfolio managers (front-middle);
  • Get a separation between those checking compliance with policies and procedures and those undertaking the activities of the business (middle – front and back).

2. The functions of each element of the new structure should be clearly specified with effective coordination and information sharing within the DMO. This requirement will be embodied in an Internal Communications Strategy to be developed by DMO alongside its management system. The mandates of the respective staff should also be set out in clear and unambiguous terms – encapsulated within job descriptions and operationalised through performance plans.

3. The new structure of the DMO makes a distinction between those individuals executing market transactions (front office), those setting and ensuring compliance with established rules of engagement, such as formulating operational strategy, undertaking risk assessment, and setting international benchmarks (middle office), and those responsible for recording the transaction into the accounting system and databases (back office). Accordingly, the roles and responsibilities of the different operational offices of the DMO under the new structure are as described in the different sections below.

4. In designing the structure, the organizational hierarchy in the DMO is limited to three steps below the DG. There are departments headed by Departmental Heads (Directors), Units headed by Group Leaders, and Sections headed by Team Leaders. In arriving at this structure, the terms ‘Group Leader’ and ‘Team Leader’ are used as generic descriptions of intended administrative functions and may not necessarily correlate with the official designation of the officers occupying them. The status of the Leader shall be determined by the duties and responsibilities of the office and the availability and competence of the staff needed to fill them. The authority of the officers in these positions therefore, ensues from the office they occupy rather than their official designation. This fact is duly recognized by the management of the DMO and should be respected by all staff. To view a diagram of the organizational structure click here

This hierarchy has been used to determine the job description and schedule of duties of the staff of the DMO and form the basis for the determination of the number and competence of its staff in the new structure.