The strong momentum and continuous growth in Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a proof that President Muhammadu Buhari’s policies are working, the presidency has said in a statement.
The statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, on Tuesday in Abuja, said that the latest GDP figures were encouraging.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its “GDP Report for the Fourth and Full Year 2018’’ released in Abuja, stated that Nigeria’s GDP grew by 2.38 per cent in real terms year-on-year as the economy recorded positive growth in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The bureau said that the economy recorded positive growth in the non-oil sector in the quarter as the sector grew by 2.70 per cent in real terms.
Dipeolu said that the latest figures released by NBS, 2.38 per cent for the fourth Quarter (Q4) of 2018 showed an appreciable improvement in the growth performance of the economy.
“The figures are encouraging in several respects.
“Notably, the growth recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018 (Q4 2018) was higher than both the growth of 1.81 per cent in Q3 2018 and in the corresponding fourth quarter of 2017.
“Indeed, quarter-on-quarter growth from Q3 2018 to Q4 2018 was 5.31 per cent, which signals a great potential for a higher annual growth rate.
“In annual terms, the growth rate more than doubled in 2018, rising to 1.93 per cent as compared to 0.82 per cent in 2017, again reflecting the strong momentum of growth.
“Also notable is the fact that growth in Q4 2018, and indeed for the whole year, owed a great deal to the performance of the non-oil sector.
“The non-oil sector grew at 2.7 per cent in Q4 2018 as compared to 1.14 per cent in the oil sector.
“The non-oil sector also grew by 2 per cent in the whole year 2018, which was considerably better than its growth in the whole of 2017, which was 0.47 per cent.
“The share of the non-oil sector in GDP was 92.94 per cent while the oil sector contributed 7.06 per cent.’’
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He said that with the maintenance of the trend, the economic diversification objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) were well on their way to being met.
Dipeolu said it was encouraging that agriculture which accounted for 26.15 per cent of total GDP grew by 2.46 per cent in Q4 2018 while manufacturing grew by 2.09 per cent.
The special adviser said that the service sector which accounted for 53.62 per cent of GDP registered its strongest growth performance in two quarters.
He said that transport and storage, as well and information and communication, were particularly notable growing at 13.91 per cent and 9.65 per cent in the whole of 2018.
“This owes a lot to the investments that are being made in roads and rail as well as in broadband infrastructure.
“The NBS figures also show that 39 out of 46 economic activities recorded growth in Q4 2018 which shows that growth across sectors is becoming more mutually reinforcing.
“This growth is consistent with the policies and principles of the ERGP relating to macroeconomic stability and economic diversification.
“ When better economic fundamentals like lower inflation rates, increased foreign reserves, a more stable exchange rate and increased capital inflows are taken together with increased investments in the real sector, infrastructure, the social sector and business environment, it portends well for economic performance in 2019 and beyond.
“Indeed, the economy remains well on course to grow by 3 per cent in 2019 as estimated in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework,” he said.
According to him, the Buhari administration will continue to pursue the ERGP diligently.
He said that Nigerians should expect that economic conditions would continue to get better even as the nation moved on to the Next Level.