The National Bureau of Statistics on Monday released the country’s Gross Domestic Product report for the third quarter of the year with the economy recording a growth rate of 1.81 per cent year-on-year.
The bureau in the report which was posted on its website said the 1.81 per cent represented an increase over the growth rate of 1.5 per cent which the economy recorded in the second quarter of this year.
In nominal terms, the report put the value of the country’s economic output during the period at N33.36tn.
This, it stated, was higher when compared to the third quarter 2017 GDP output of N29.37tn.
The report reads in part, “The nation’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 1.81 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the third quarter of 2018.
“Compared to the third quarter of 2017 which recorded a growth of 1.17 per cent, there is an increase of 0.64 per cent points.
“The second quarter of 2018 had a growth rate of 1.5 per cent showing a rise of 0.31 per cent points.”
The report stated that the non-oil sector boosted economic output for the period as the sector grew by 2.32 per cent in real terms.
It said the rate of growth of the non-oil sector in the third quarter of the year was higher by 3.08 percentage points when compared to the second quarter 2017 growth rate for the sector.
The NBS report explained that growth in the non-oil sector in the third quarter was mainly driven by information and communication.
It gave other drivers of growth for the sector as agriculture, manufacturing, trade, transportation and storage and professional, scientific and technical services.
In real terms, the report said the non-oil sector contributed 90.62 per cent to the nation’s GDP, higher than the 90.16 per cent recorded in the third quarter of 2017.
The 90.62 per cent contribution of the non-oil sector to economic output was however; lower than the second quarter 2018 figure of 91.45 per cent.
In terms of contribution, the NBS report stated that in the third quarter of 2018, agriculture contributed 25.52 per cent to nominal GDP.
This figure, according to the report, was higher than the 24.5 per cent recorded in the third quarter of 2017 and 18.78 per cent recorded in the second quarter of 2018 respectively.
For the manufacturing sector, the NBS report stated that nominal GDP growth rate in the third quarter of 2018 was 32.73 per cent year-on-year.
This, according to the report, is 13.21 percentage points higher than the preceding second quarter figure of 19.52 per cent.
The report put the contribution of manufacturing to nominal GDP at 10.01 per cent, adding that this was higher than second quarter contribution of 9.49 per cent.
For the trade sector, the NBS report explained that in the third quarter of 2018, the nominal year- on-year growth rate of the sector stood at 3.78 per cent.
The report put trade’s contribution to nominal GDP in the third quarter at 16.45 per cent.
For the oil sector, the report stated that the country recorded an average daily oil production of 1.94 million barrels per day, higher than the 1.84 million barrels per day in the second quarter of 2018.
The report put the real growth rats of the oil sector at –2.91 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter.
It added that the oil sector contributed 9.38 per cent to total real GDP in the third quarter.
The contribution of 9.38 per cent to GDP is higher when compared to the second quarter contribution of 8.55 per cent.
Some finance and economic experts who spoke on the performance of the economy called on the Federal Government to sustain the growth momentum by vigorously implementing the capital component of the 2018 budget.
The Head, Banking and Finance Department, Nasarawa State University, Prof Uche Uwaleke said, “The Q3 2018 GDP report which showed the economy grew by 1.8 per cent compared to 1.5 per cent in Q2 is cheering news because it marked an end to the downward trend in GDP growth noticed since the first quarter of this year.
“This outcome may have been helped by the implementation of the 2018 budget which kicked-in at the beginning of the third quarter, the relative stability in the exchange rate as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s interventions in the real sector.
“Be that as it may, the growth is still weak and fragile particularly with respect to the sectors that have strong linkages to jobs.
“The performance of the financial services sector which is critical to the economy is disappointing.”
The President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Adetokunbo Kayode, said that the growth in the non-oil sector was a wakeup call for government to support the real sector of the economy.
“The only way we can sustain the growth is to industrialise. You need industries; you need to develop the Small and Medium Enterprises and be able to expand it more.”
He said that the performance needed to improve in 2019, adding that the private sector held the key to growing the economy.
The Director-General, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Mr Richard Borokini, said that the growth had not impacted on the standard of living of Nigerians.
He said, “Inflation rate is still high, power supply is not stable, we have issues with infrastructure and things are still very expensive in the country. Even in the agricultural sector, it is expensive for farmers to transport their goods to the market.”
According to him, the rise in the GDP should bring down prices of goods, and people should be able to afford things, while infrastructure should improve.
He said, “When power supply improves, good healthcare is accessible and standard of living improves, people will feel the impact of the growth in GDP.”