By Omoh Gabriel
LAGOS — Nigeria’s economic growth, GDP, rose in the third quarter as the oil industry’s contraction eased and agricultural output increased.
Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics,NBC, said that the amount of goods and services produced in the country in the month of July, August and September 2013, (Gross Domestic Product) rose to 6.81 per cent on an annual basis. This it said was the fastest rate of growth this year, compared with 6.18 per cent in the second quarter.
The Africa Development Bank, AfDB, had said that the outlook for growth of the economy remains positive while listing the downside risks to include security challenges arising from religious conflict in some states and slower global growth.
According to the AfDB, as economic growth is largely driven by capital-intensive sectors, it has not translated into sufficient job creation and poverty remains high. As a result, Nigeria has a low Human Development Index, HDI. The country has made some progress towards attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, albeit slowly and unevenly.
“There is a high need to diversify the Nigerian economy into the non-oil sector. This would help expand the sources of growth and make it broad based, both socially and geographically. Further development of agriculture, manufacturing and services could broaden growth, create employment and reduce poverty.”
The Nigerian economy slowed down from 7.4 per cent growth in 2011 to 6.6 per cent in 2012. The oil sector continues to drive the economy, with average growth of about of 8.0 per cent, compared to 0.35 per cent for the non-oil sector. Agriculture and the oil and gas sectors continue to dominate economic activities in Nigeria.
The fiscal consolidation stance of the government has helped to contain the fiscal deficit below 3.0 per cent of the GDP. This, coupled with the tight monetary policy stance of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, helped to keep inflation low.
According to the NBS “On an aggregate basis the economy when measured by the Real Gross Domestic Product, GDP, grew by 6.81 per cent in the third quarter of 2013. This was higher than the 6.18 per cent recorded in the second quarter of 2013 and 6.48 per cent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2012.
“The nominal GDP for the third quarter of 2013 was estimated at N11.16602639 trillion, up from the N10.96727289 trillion estimated for the corresponding quarter of 2012 by 1.81 per cent, and N10.20483797 trillion recorded in the second quarter of 2013 by 9.41 per cent.”