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Banks’ bad debts increased by N166.29bn in 2020 – NBS

The Nigerian banking industry recorded a N166.29 billion or 15.69 percent increase in non-performing loans in 2020.

The National Bureau of Statistics disclosed this in its banking sector report released on Sunday.

According to the report, non-performing loans in Nigerian banks increased to N1.22 trillion at the end of December 2020 from N1.059 trillion recorded the previous year.

The report noted that the non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio is 6.02 percent above the Central Bank of Nigeria acceptable ratio of 5 percent, indicating commercial banks are carrying more underperforming loans than expected.

Breakdown of the bad debts on a sectoral basis showed that oil and gas contributed the largest share after increasing by 43 percent from N219.91 billion in December 2019 to N315.3 billion last year.

Construction followed with N170.59 billion, increasing by 97.44 percent from N86.40billion in 2019.

Another biggest contributor to non-performing loans was general commerce as it recorded a 7.41 percent rise from N145.26 billion in 2019 to N156.02 billion.

Other sectors to have witnessed an increase in non-performing loans include information and communication (N112.11 billion), real estate (N56.03 billion) and finance and insurance (N5.26 billion).

Human health and social work (N16.97 billion), professional, scientific, and technical (N11.87 billion), arts, entertainment and recreation (N9.42 billion), administrative and support services (N5.65) and capital market (N0.32 billion) completed the list.

Despite the rise in NPLs last year, nine sectors including agriculture, mining and quarrying, manufacturing, public utilities and transportation, power and energy, government, and education all recorded a decline in their exposure to bad debts.

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