The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma says Nigeria’s economy is firmly on the path of growth.
Udoma, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media in Abuja said the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the fourth quarter, 2018 showed the strongest performance since the economy emerged from recession.
The minister made this known at a gathering of media professionals at the Nigeria Union of Journalists Press Centre, Uyo, Akwa Ibom on Wednesday.
The report shows that the real GDP grew by 2.38 per cent, indicating the strongest quarter growth since the economy slipped into recession in 2016.
The full year 2018 real GDP stood at 1.93 per cent, higher than the 0.82 per cent growth rate recorded in 2017.
Udoma said that the report showed that 39 out of 46 economic activities were now growing.
“Agriculture is growing, Manufacturing is growing, and Services has recorded its best performance in 11 quarters.
“Particularly notable is the fact that the growth is driven by the non-oil sector which has recorded its strongest growth since the fourth quarter of 2015.
“In short, we have turned the corner and are now firmly on the path of growth,” he said.
According to him, the current real GDP growth performance is most encouraging and shows a movement in a very positive direction, especially with regard to the non-oil sector performance.
Udoma assured that with the Buhari administration’s commitment to the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the economy would further be strengthened.
He explained that at inception, the administration faced real crisis in the economy which included a sharp drop in oil revenues with consequent fiscal challenges.
The minister, however, was delighted that the implementation of the ERGP was yielding positive results.
“We have improved oil production to take advantage of the slight recovery in oil prices.
“The economy is now on a positive growth path after exiting recession in second quarter, 2017 and other macroeconomic indicators have also witnessed significant improvement,” he said.
Udoma further assured that the Federal Government was committed to implementing the minimum wage as part of efforts toward improving the standard of living of workers.
He said some provision had been made for this in the 2019 Budget while a Technical Committee had been set up to ensure its implementation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the fourth quarter growth performance implied that real GDP grew at an annual rate of 1.93 per cent in 2018, compared to 0.82 per cent recorded in 2017, representing an increase of 1.09 per cent points.
The oil sector recorded a real GDP growth rate of –1.62 per cent (year-on-year) in fourth quarter, 2018, indicating a decline of –12.81 per cent points relative to the growth rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2017.
The report further said that the oil sector contributed 7.06 per cent to real GDP in the quarter under review, down from figures recorded in the corresponding period of 2017 and the preceding quarter, where it contributed 7.35 per cent and 9.38 per cent respectively.
On the other hand, the non-oil sector grew by 2.70 per cent in real terms during the quarter under review.
The figure was 1.25 per cent points higher than the growth rate recorded in fourth quarter, 2017, and 0.38 per cent points higher than the growth rate recorded in third quarter, 2018.
On an annual basis, the non-oil sector recorded a growth rate of 2.00 per cent in 2018, performing considerably better than 0.47 per cent seen in 2017.
The key performing activities during the quarter were Information and communication, Transportation and Storage, Arts and Entertainment and Agriculture as well as Manufacturing.