5.01% GDP growth in Q2 excites President Buhari

Buhari signs PIB

 President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed Thursday’s Q2 2021 report by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), showing a third consecutive quarter of positive growth in Nigeria’s economy.

In a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja, the president noted that the report also showed the highest quarterly growth in GDP since 2014. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 5.01% in Q2 2021 following 0.51% growth in Q1 2021.

This growth, which continues the progress of the preceding two quarters, is a continuing trend reflecting Nigeria’s economic rebound, following the COVID-19-induced contractions seen in Q1 and Q2 2020.

The non-oil sector is a significant contributor to the economic performance in Q2 2021 with growth of 6.74% in real terms, the fastest growth in the sector since the third quarter of 2014.

The contribution of the non-oil sector to GDP increased from 91.07% in Q2 2020 to 92.58% in Q2 2021, according to the NBS.

The president commended managers of the economy for hard work and commitment, urging them to keep at it till the positive development “touches the lives and pockets of the average Nigerian.”

The main drivers of the Q2 2021 economic growth included Trade, Information and Communication (mainly Telecommunications), Transportation, Electricity, Crop Production and Manufacturing, even though the service sector, specifically also recorded its strongest performance in more than a decade, growing at 9.27%.

These main growth drivers of this second quarter performance are reflective of the gains from easing restrictions of movement locally and internationally and the improvement in the business and economic environment compared to the same period in 2020.

President Buhari noted the decline in real growth in the oil sector in Q2 2021, compared to a year ago, indicating oil production levels at 1.62million barrels per day, compared to 1.67million barrels per day in Q2 2020.

According to him, the lower production output, as well as the volatility in oil prices since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, was responsible for the decline in performance of the oil sector.

The president, however, assured that a combination of recent reforms and efforts were certain to attract new investment to the oil and gas sector, as well as create conditions for more robust levels of growth in the future.

He cited these reforms and efforts to include the Marginal Fields Bid Rounds, the renewed focus on gas development, including the NLNG Train 7 project, and various pipeline construction projects, as well as the passage and assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

”It is gratifying to note that the various policies of the administration, aimed at boosting agricultural production, improving the business environment and investing massively in infrastructure, are beginning to yield fruit.

”Equally gratifying is the complementary news of the steady decline in the rate of inflation, over the last few months.

”The positive effects of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), which helped fast-track the country’s exit from the COVID-induced recession of 2020, continue to be evident, as some of the sectors driving the Q2 2021 growth have benefited or are benefiting from government-led interventions.

”The successful roll-out of vaccines and COVID-19 protocols has also helped to reduce pressures on the healthcare system and the need for a lockdown,” he observed.

While looking to the future, the president assured Nigerians that there was much to be optimistic about.

He believed that the investments in agriculture and infrastructure would continue, ”as will on-going efforts to achieve a significant improvement in the security situation across the country.

“There is no doubt that a more secure environment – which the security agencies are working hard to achieve – will spur and energize the shoots of economic progress being seen and felt in the country.” (NAN)