Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) witnessed a quantum leap by 5.01% year-on-year in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The growth rate was pushed largely by activities in the non-oil sector, and represents the highest economic growth recorded in over six years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The NBS in its Q2 GDP report released today (Thursday), said the 5.01% growth rate is higher than the -6.1% growth recorded in Q2 2020, and the 0.51% recorded in Q1 2021.
It also marked three consecutive quarters of growth following the negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020.
The Bureau also said the GDP figure is indicative of the return of business and economy activity levels seen prior to the nationwide implementation of COVID-19 related restrictions.
A statement posted on the NBS website reads: “The Q2 2021 growth rate was higher than the -6.10% growth rate recorded in Q2 2020 and the 0.51% recorded in Q1 2021 year-on-year, indicating the return of business and economic activity near levels seen prior to the nationwide implementation of COVID-19 related restrictions.
“The steady recovery observed since the end of 2020, with the gradual return of commercial activity, as well as local and international travel, accounted for the significant increase in growth performance relative to the second quarter of 2020 when nationwide restrictions took effect.
“Year-to-date, real GDP grew 2.70% in 2021 compared to -2.18% for the first half of 2020.”
However, the report indicated that real GDP (quarter-on-quarter) grew at -0.79% in Q2 2021 compared to Q1 2021, indicating slightly slower economic activity than the preceding quarter due largely to seasonality.
Also, aggregate GDP stood at N39,123,713.32 million in nominal terms – higher than the second quarter of 2020 with aggregate GDP of N34,023,197.60 million, indicating a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 14.99%.
Additionally, the nominal GDP growth rate in Q2 2021 was higher than -2.80% growth recorded year-on-year when economic activities slowed sharply at the outset of the pandemic.
“The Q2 2021 nominal growth rate was also higher than 12.25% growth recorded in Q1 2021.” it added.
The steady recovery observed since the end of 2020, with the gradual return of commercial activity, as well as local and international travel, accounted for the significant increase in growth performance relative to the second quarter of 2020 when nationwide restrictions took effect.
Oil, Non-oil sectors
In the oil sector, the report put the average daily oil production at 1.61 million barrels per day (mbpd) in Q2 2021, about -0.19mbpd lower than the average daily production of 1.81mbpd recorded a year earlier, and -0.10mbpd lower than the 1.72mbpd recorded in Q1 2021.
Also, real growth in the oil sector was –12.65% (year-on-year) in Q2 2021, or –6.02% points relative to the growth rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2020.
The report revealed that growth decreased by – 10.44% points when compared to Q1 2021 or –2.21%.
The report continues: “For the first half of 2021, real GDP was recorded at -7.13%, compared to -0.80% for the first half of 2020, the performance reflecting lower oil output.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of -20.35% in Q2 2021. The Oil sector contributed 7.42% to total real GDP in Q2 2021, down from figures recorded in the corresponding period of 2020, and down compared to the preceding quarter, where it contributed 8.93% and 9.25% respectively.”
It was, however, cheery news for the non-oil sector, which grew by 6.74% in Q2 2021, which was higher by 12.80% points compared to the same quarter of 2020, and 5.95% points higher than the first quarter of 2021.”
The NBS attributed the high rate of activities in the non-oil sector to growth in Trade, Information and Communication Telecommunication (ICT), Transportation (Road Transport), Electricity, Agriculture (Crop Production) and Manufacturing (Food, Beverage & Tobacco), reflecting the easing of movement, business and economic activity across the country relative to the same period a year earlier during the COVId-19 lockdowns.
“In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 92.58% to the nation’s GDP in the second quarter of 2021, higher from shares recorded in the second quarter of 2020 which was 91.07% and the first quarter of 2021 recorded as 90.75%,” the report said.