The banking sector recorded a total amount of N8.17tn as non-performing loans in the 2018 fiscal period.

The figure is contained in the banking sector report obtained by our correspondent from the National Bureau of Statistics.The banking sector’s N8.17tn NPLs for 2018 was N1.38tn lower when compared to the N9.54tn recorded in the 2017 fiscal period.

An analysis of the N8.17tn NPLs for 2018 showed that the sector recorded N2.18tn in the first quarter.

In the second quarter of 2018, the figure dropped by N250bn to N1.93tn.

During the third quarter of last year, the NPL portfolio rose by N306bn to N2.25tn, before dropping to N1.79tn in the fourth quarter.

Further analysis showed that out of the N15.83tn credit granted by banks to the economy in the first quarter of last year, about N2.18tn became non-performing.

In the second quarter, the banking sector provided a total credit of N15.58tn out of which N1.93tn was classified as non-performing loans.

For the third quarter, a total credit of N15.86tn was given by banks to the private sector. Out of this amount, N2.24tn turned out to be non-performing loans.

In the fourth quarter of last year, the sum of N15.35tn was provided as credit to the private sector and out of this amount, about N1.79tn were recorded as non-performing loans.

A breakdown of credit to the private sector showed that oil and gas with N3.55tn received the highest credit allocation during the period under review.

This is followed by the manufacturing sector with total loans of N2.23tn.

In the same vein, the real estate sector received a total loan of N622.77bn; finance, insurance and capital market N1.1tn; education N57.25bn; information and communications N545.49bn; transportation and storage N289.85bn, while other sectors got N339.73bn.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria had last year called on the Federal Government to offset its huge contractor debts in order to reduce the huge non-performing loans in the banking sector.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had while addressing journalists shortly after its meeting said if the contractors’ debts were repaid by the Federal Government, a sizable portion of the huge non-performing loans in banks would be addressed.

He said, “We have been very clear about this, with the size of contractor debts in the region of N2.7tn and because these debts are unpaid to the contractors, they are unable to service or pay back their loans at the banks and that is why we seized the opportunity of this communiqué to talk about it so that these debts can be paid.

“The central bank itself stands ready to accord some form of liquidity status to some of these debts and through that mechanism we believe the NPLs will recede and then the banks can now continue to play their role which is to catalyse growth and support credit delivery to the Nigerian economy.”