Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Finance Minister
By James Emejo
Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell from 6.56 per cent that it was in the first quarter of the year down to 6.18 per cent in the second quarter, so says the National Bureau of Statistics.
The NBS, in its quarterly GDP estimates released in Abuja yesterday said nominal GDP dropped to about N9.1 trillion from about N9.4 trillion in the previous quarter. This was also lower than the about N9.8 trillion recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2012.
However, GDP growth within the period under review was helped by the non-oil sector which recorded a 7.36 per cent growth in real terms as against 7.89 per cent in the first quarter as well as 7.63 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2012.
The relative decline in the non-oil output was blamed on lower electricity generation during the period which had ripple effects on manufacturing, telecommunications as well as wholesale and retail trade.
On the other hand, the oil sector contributed about 12.9 per cent to real GDP in the second quarter. However, this was lower than the 14.75 per cent recorded in the previous quarter as well as 13.86 per cent in the corresponding period of 2012.
According to the NBS, average daily production of crude oil in the second quarter fell to 2.11 million barrels per day from 2.29 million barrels per day in the first quarter, compared to 2.38 million barrels per day recorded in the second quarter of 2012.
It said: "Supply disruptions as a result of pipeline vandalisation still remain a challenge to the Nigerian oil industry. Nevertheless, the sector benefited from the relative stability in international crude oil market price, as well as the naira exchange rate."
Agriculture continued to drive the economy, contributing 40 per cent to the overall GDP while wholesale and retail trade accounted for 17.3 per cent for the quarter.
"It should be noted that 2012 was particularly a challenging year for agricultural production in Nigeria. During the year, security challenges had a dampening effect on value added output. This was compounded by the flood that occurred largely during the third quarter of 2012 impacting on at least 25 out the 36 states in Nigeria," the report stated.