By Ismaila Chafe
#TrackNigeria: The Presidency says the Fourth Quarter 2018 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) results released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) give a lot of hope as “economic Eldorado beckons’’.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Thursday listed 10 salient points from the NBS report.
He said that the report clearly indicates that the Buhari administration had put the Nigerian economy “on firm and solid footing’’, adding that “Nigeria is inexorably set for that Next Level.’’
Adesina listed the salient points to note from the report as follows:
- The economy has recorded continued progress since it emerged from recession in 2017. Current result shows a Real GDP growth of 2.38 per cent compared to 1.81 per cent in Q3 last year, representing the strongest growth since the economy slipped into recession in 2016.
- For more than five decades, Nigeria has paid lip service to diversifying the economy, from sole dependence on oil. The latest result shows that economic growth has continued to be driven by the non-oil sector, which grew by 2.70 per cent in Q4 2018, up from 2.32% in Q3 2018. It represents the strongest growth in the sector since Q4 2015.
- The non-oil GDP growth was driven by quarrying and other minerals, followed by telecommunications, agriculture, manufacturing, and construction. That is diversification in progress, real time, no matter what the naysayers may say.
- While the non-oil sector actually drove GDP growth, the oil sector contracted with crude oil and gas GDP reducing by -1.62 per cent. This shows that with good governance, focus, prudence and accountability, the life of the country needs not depend on oil ad infinitum.
- The NBS report further shows that services GDP growth recorded its best performance in 11 quarters, growing by 2.90 per cent compared to 2.64 per cent in Q3 2018 and 0.10 per cent in Q4 2017. Overall, while growth in the economy was moderated by the contraction in the oil sector, 39 out of 46 economic activities recorded positive growth in the quarter under review.
- The improved GDP growth can be attributed to government’s continuous implementation of the policy initiatives in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which has boosted the performance of the non-oil sector.
- The growth in Q4 2018 GDP is consistent with the improvements in other macroeconomic indicators, including inflation, capital inflows, foreign trade, external reserves, among others.
- Headline inflation has been trending downwards from 18.55 per cent as at December 2016 to 15.37 per cent in December 2017 and further to 11.44 per cent in December 2018.
- The total value of capital importation into Nigeria stood at 2,140 million dollars in the fourth quarter of 2018. This translates to a full year capital inflow of 16,812 million dollars compared to 12,228 million dollars in 2017.
- Although the economy is now growing, more still must be done to deepen its diversification and make it less vulnerable to external shocks. That is an unflinching commitment of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Adesina, therefore, condemned those who deliberately refused to acknowledge the remarkable achievements of the Buhari administration for political reasons. .
“Those who do not see any good in something not initiated by them toil endlessly to hoodwink Nigerians into believing that nothing good is happening on the economic front. But facts are stubborn things.
“The more they try to deny the facts, the more they rudely stare at them in the face,’’ he said.
The opposition has constantly accused the administration of poorly managing the economy in the three and a half years it has been in-charge. (NAN)