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Despite COVID-19 Challenge, Nigeria Economy Wax Strong – NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics has yesterday revealed that Nigeria’s economy despite challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic has grown by 0.51% in the first quarter of 2021. In the new report were the results for the two consecutive quarters of growth following the negative growth that send the country into recession in the second and third quarter of last year.

The statistics office in its report titled “Nigeria’s Quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP), revealed the first-quarter growth rate as slower than the 1.87 percent growth rate recorded in the first quarter of the year 2020, though it was, however, higher than 0.11 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of last year.

Meanwhile, the agency disclosed it is indicative of a slow but continuous recovery; as Nigeria like any other part of the global member has continued to groan under the effect of the pandemic that has shocked the world causing over 2000 deaths in the country and over three million death globally.

Accordingly, further analysis of the report indicated that quarter on quarter, real GDP grew at -13.93 percent in the first quarter when compared to the fourth quarter of the previous year.

Though some experts said this was a slow pace of growth of economic activities as the year is just starting.

NBS explained that considering the quarter under consideration, aggregate GDP stood at N40million in nominal terms, saying this performance is higher when reference is made to the first quarter of last year which recorded an aggregate of N35.6million, resulting in a nominal growth rate of 12.25 percent.

According to the report, “The nominal GDP growth rate in Q1 2021 was higher relative to 12.01% growth recorded in the first quarter of 2020 as well as the 10.07% growth recorded in the preceding quarter,”

Giving the detail of the report, it said during the first quarter, the oil sector accounted for 9.25% of aggregate real GDP which was slightly lower than the 9.5 % recorded in the corresponding period of last year, 2020 but was higher in the preceding quarter, where it contributed 5.87 percent.

Meanwhile, the non-oil sector accounted for 90.75% of aggregate GDP in the first quarter of this year, which is higher than its share in the first quarter of last year which was 90.50% but lower than 94.13% recorded in the fourth quarter of the year 2020.

The NBS report further explained that “Growth in the non-oil sector was driven mainly by the Information and Communication (Telecommunication) sector while other drivers include Agriculture (Crop Production); Manufacturing (Food, Beverage & Tobacco); Real Estate; Construction and Human Health & Social Services,”