According to latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate has slowed down to 2.01 per cent in the first three months of the year. NBS said the slump was impacted by the decline in oil growth rate.
Nigeria’s economy grew 2.38 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018, indicating a 0.38 per cent higher rate than the first quarter of the current year. The pace of economic growth in Africa’s biggest economy in the first quarter of this year, they data disclosed was far below the 3 per cent annual rate projected by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to the NBS data, the growth rate in the non-oil sector surpassed that of the oil sector, which remains the backbone of the economy.
The same report further affirmed that the non-oil grew 2.47 per cent in the period under review while the oil sector shrank by 2.40 per cent. The growth rate in the first quarter of 2019, according to NBS was better than the figure returned for the corresponding period of 2018. In the first quarter of last year, the economy grew 1.89 per cent.
According to the report, “It is worth noting that general elections were held across the country during the first quarter of 2019 and this may have reflected in the strongest first-quarter performance observed since 2015. Aggregate GDP stood at 31.79 trillion naira in nominal terms. This aggregate was higher than in the first quarter of 2018, which recorded 28.44 trillion naira, representing a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 11.80 per cent. The aggregate was, however, lower than in the preceding quarter of 35.23 trillion naira, by -9.75 per cent.”
It would be recalled that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its World Economic Outlook Update released in January 2019, revised down Nigeria’s GDP projection for this year to two per cent from the 2.3 per cent, which it projected in October 2018.