This study investigates the responsiveness of manufacturing sector performance to major macroeconomic determinants in Nigeria, covering the period between 1981 and 2018. It contributes to attendant literature by examining the asymmetric impact of each of the macroeconomic variables, including GDP per capita, exchange rate, inflation rate, interest rate proxied by prime lending rate, and gross fixed capital formation. The empirical evidence is based on a Non – Linear Autoregressive Distributed Lag (NARDL) model. Our result confirms important roles for all the macroeconomic variables although at different time periods. In the long run, important role on manufacturing sector performance is found for all variables except GDP per capita. In the short run however, it alongside exchange rate and period lags of manufacturing value added meaningfully determines manufacturing sector performance. Our findings also confirm the presence of asymmetric shocks on manufacturing performance for exchange rate at both time periods and interest rate only in the long run.