James Emejo in Abuja
Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate slowed to 2.01 per cent (year-on- year) in the first quarter of 2019 (Q1, 2019), compared to the 2.38 per cent growth posted in the fourth quarter of 2018 (Q4, 2018), according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The NBS attributed the performance to the general elections, which were held across the country during the first quarter of 2019, adding that this may have reflected in the strongest first quarter performance observed since 2015.
However, when compared to the Q1 2018 performance, where real GDP growth rate stood at 1.89 per cent, the Q1 2019 growth represented an increase of 0.12 percentage points, the statistical agency noted.
It added that quarter on quarter, real GDP growth declined by -0.38 percentage points.
According to the GDP Report Q1 2019 which was released Monday, aggregate GDP in nominal terms dropped -9.75 per cent to N31.79 trillion, compared to N35.23 trillion in the preceding quarter, but higher than in the Q1 2018 estimate of N28.43 trillion, representing a year on year nominal growth of 11.80 per cent.
Nevertheless, the NBS, further noted that the nominal GDP growth in Q1 2019 was higher than the rate recorded in Q1 2018 by 2.54 percentage points.
As usual, growth was largely aided by the non-oil sectors which contributed 90.86 per cent to total GDP while the oil sector contributed 9.14 per cent to growth in Q1.
According to the NBS, the services sector contributed 54.60 per cent to real GDP in the non-oil sector while agriculture contributed 21.91 per cent as well as industries which recorded 23.49 per cent.
Quarter-on-Quarter, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of 11.60 per cent in Q1 2019.
However, real GDP growth in the sector decreased to -2.40 per cent (year-on-year) in Q1 2019, indicating a decrease by -16.43 percentage points
relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2018.
Growth in the sector decreased by -0.79 percentage points when compared to the -1.62 per cent recorded in Q4 2018.
Meanwhile, oil production increased by 0.05 million barrels per day (mbpd) to
1.96 mbpd in Q1 compared to the 1.91mbpd in the preceding quarter but lower than the 1.98mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2018 by -0.02mbpd.
The NBS said the level of oil output during the quarter was the highest recorded over the past one year and the second highest since mid 2017.
The Oil sector contributed 9.14 per cent compared to 7.06 per cent in Q4 2018 but less than the 9.55 per cent in the preceding quarter.
A further breakdown of the sectoral contributions to growth however showed that the contribution of agriculture to real growth was less than the preceding quarter when it recorded 26.15 per cent.
Nevertheless, the sector grew by 3.17 per cent in Q1 compared to 2.46 per cent in Q4 2018.
The manufacturing sector growth also slowed to 0.81 per cent compared to 2.38 per cent in the preceding quarter.
Also, the construction sector grew at 3.18 per cent, (year on year) in Q1 from 2.05 per cent in the preceding quarter and contributed 4.09 per cent to real GDP from 3.48 per cent in Q4 2018.
Growth in the trade sector slowed to 0.85 per cent from 1.02 per cent in the preceding quarter. It sector’s share of GDP was 16.87 per cent in Q1 from 17.07 per cent in Q4 2018.
The information and communication sector grew by 9.48 per cent, down from 13.20 per cent in Q4 2018 and contributed 13.33 per cent to growth, up from 12.42 per cent.