NBS’s 1.95% GDP growth report excites Presidency

The Presidency on Thursday noted with delight the latest GDP report for the 1st quarter of 2018, which indicated that the economy had recorded a GDP growth of 1.95 percent.

Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, who made this known in a statement in Abuja, said the 1,95 percent growth was against 0.91 percent recorded in 1st quarter of 2017.

The NBS Report was released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday.

According to the NBS, the economy has recovered from the slow-down and eventual recession, which started in 2014.

It noted that there had been improvement with stronger growth for three successive quarters.

The presidential aide further observed that, from contracting by 0.91 per cent in 1st quarter of 2017, the economy had grown by 0.72 percent in 2nd quarter of 2017, to 1.17per cent in the 3rd quarter, and 2.11per cent in the last quarter of 2017.

He said: “The growth is driven by Agriculture and Industry, which shows that finally, after more than 50 years of lip service, the Nigerian economy is on the road to diversification.

“The oil sector’s contribution to GDP is 9.61per cent, while the non-oil sector’s share is 90.39per cent.’’

He observed that one of the factors responsible for the positive performance of the economy in the first quarter of 2018 was the spending of about N1.5 trillion on infrastructure projects in 2017.

Adesina also noted that for the past 15 months, inflation had declined consistently from 18.72per cent to 12.48per cent, saying that the country was steadily on the road to single digit inflation rate.

“The first quarter of 2018 saw a continuous growth in total capital importation into the country, the fourth consecutive quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2017.

“The total value of capital imported is 6,303.63 million dollars, a 17.11per cent growth over the figure reported in the previous quarter,’’ he added.

Adesina also noted that the nation’s foreign reserves stood at 47.79 billion dollars as against 29.6 billion dollars inherited in May 2015, “after about six years boom in oil prices in the international market.’’

He said the increase came at a time of modest oil prices, showing transparency and accountability by government.

The presidential aide said the Nigerian Stock Market ended 2017 as one of the best-performing in the world, with returns of about 40 percent, while tax revenue increased to N1.17 trillion, in the first quarter of 2018.

This showed a 51per cent increase on the first quarter of 2017 figure.

He also noted that milled rice production had increased from 2.5metric tonnes to 4 million, and rice imports had dropped from 580,000metric tonnes in 2015 to 58,000metric tonnes in 2016, adding that millions of dollars had been saved.

On exiting recession last year, Adesina recalled the President’s statement where he said: “I will not consider the job done, until the ordinary man feels the impact of the rebounding economy on his life and pocket.

“We are inexorably on that road, no matter what scoffers may say.’’

Adesina, who described these achievements as “just little’’ among the good things happening to the Nigerian economy, said only the “willfully blind will not see it, but it does not stop the good work, which continues.’’

He said: “Some people have made it a pastime to talk as if there is no silver lining in the sky as far as the Nigerian economy is concerned. They carry on as if it is doom and gloom all the way, a thoroughfare of woes.

“This they do, to hoodwink the public, and peradventure gain political advantage for themselves, or their principals.

“But facts are stubborn things. Those arrayed against facts may abhor and deride them, but there they are, staring them starkly in the face,’’ he said.(NAN)