Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 4.03% (year-on-year) in real terms in the third quarter (Q3) of 2021, indicative of a continuous recovery.
The output growth rate is however 0.98% lower than the 5.01% recorded in Q2.
Nevertheless, there was a higher economic activity during the quarter than in the Q2.
According to the latest DGP Report released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the development shows a sustained positive growth over the last four quarters since the recession witnessed in 2020.
Aggregate GDP stood at N45.113 trillion in nominal terms, higher than the aggregate GDP of N39.089 trillion recorded in the same period in 2020, which represents a 15.41% nominal growth rate year-on-year.
The major driver to the real GDP growth rate during the Q3 was the non-oil sector with 92.51%, while the oil sector contributed only 7.49%.
For the non-oil sector, the NBS said: “This sector was driven in third quarter 2021 mainly by trade, Information and Communication (Telecommunication), other drivers include financial and insurance (financial institutions) and manufacturing (food, beverage and tobacco).
“Others are agriculture (crop production) and transportation and storage (road transport), accounting for positive GDP growth.”
In real terms, the report said the sector grew by 5.44% during the reference quarter, a 7.95% rise above the comparable period of 2020.
The rate of rise in Q3 was however lower by 1.30% compared to the 92.58% achieved Q2, 2021.
Despite being Nigeria’s major revenue earner the oil sector’s contribution to the GDP remains low and a source of worry to economic experts.
At 7.49% in Q3, the oil sector’s contribution was down from the 8.73% recorded in Q2, 2020, but higher than the 7.42% in the preceding quarter.
The NBS report noted that year-on-year-contribution by the sector was affected by lower oil production, which recorded an average daily oil production of 1.57 million barrels per day (mbpd) in Q3, compared to 1.67mbpd in Q2 2020. The daily volumes were also lower than Q2 levels of 1.61mbpd.
However, in Nigeria, the prospect of full recovery is glaring, provided the current trend of improved economic performance is sustained in the rest of the year and beyond.
Presenting the report to journalists in Abuja, the Statistician-General of the Federation, Simon Harry, recalled that the negative GDP figures recorded in 2020 was as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which also had serious base effects on the GDP figures for the second and third quarters of 2021.
He said: “You will recall that the contraction of quarters two and three of 2020 has resulted in positive growth as recorded consecutively for the last three-quarters of quarter four, 2020 with 0.11%, quarter one, 2021 with 0.51% and quarter two 2021 with 5.01%.”
“These base effects continued to quarter three of 2021 recording a growth of 4.03%,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), quoted Harry as saying that the improvement in output growth over the last four quarters depicts steady progress made in stemming the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated negative impact on livelihood, well-being, and the economy.
He continued: “Globally, many countries have witnessed an improvement in economic performances compared to 2020 when Covid-19 was endemic.
“Thus, economic recovery is a gradual process that requires consistent collective efforts to improve economic activities across the institutional sectors.
“However, in Nigeria, the prospect of full recovery is glaring, provided the current trend of improved economic performance is sustained in the rest of the year and beyond.
“It is important to also mention that annual GDP growth of 2021 stands at -1.92%.”