THE debts owed by energy firms to Nigerian banks rose by N200 billion to N5.85 trillion in the third quarter of this year.
A release by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the N5.85 trillion represents 29.44 per cent of N19.87 trillion loans advanced to the private sector as at the end of September.
Oil and gas firms, which received the biggest share of the credit from the banks, increased their debt by N180 billion to N5.12 trillion in Quarter 3 from N4.94 trillion in Quarter 2.
However, non-performing loans in the oil and gas sector declined by N30.53 billion to N238.26 billion in Quarter 3, from N268.79 billion in Quarter 2. But bad loans recorded by banks in the power sector rose by 6.17 per cent to N32.71 billion from N30.81 billion.
The total debt owed by power and energy firms to the banks rose to N732.68 billion in Quarter 3 from N712.93 billion in the previous quarter, the release further showed.
It will be recalled that a global credit rating agency, Fitch Ratings in a December 8 report noted that Nigerian bank asset quality had historically fallen with oil prices, with the oil sector representing 28 per cent of loans at the end of the first half of 2020.
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