Manufacturing firms owe Nigerian banks a total of N3.03tn as the sector suffered a contraction in seven months this year.

The N3.03tn debt represents 15.25 per cent of the N19.87tn loans advanced to the private sector as of the end of September, according to the data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Following the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation’s manufacturing sector contracted in the six months to October but it snapped out of the doldrums in November.

The sector, however, shrank again in December, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Purchasing Managers’ Index Survey Report.

“The Manufacturing PMI in the month of December stood at 49.6 index points, indicating a contraction from the expansionary level recorded in the month of November 2020,” the report said.

It said of the 14 surveyed subsectors, four sub-sectors recorded expansion (above 50 per cent threshold) in December, while the remaining nine sub-sectors recorded contraction.

The sub-sectors that expanded were transportation equipment, non-metallic mineral products, paper products and food, beverage and tobacco products, while textile, apparel, leather and footwear subsector remained unchanged.

Primary metal; petroleum and coal products; cement; electrical equipment; fabricated metal products; printing and related support activities; plastics and rubber products; chemical and pharmaceutical products, and furniture and related products all contracted.