NBS to Rebase GDP Estimates

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James Emejo and Folalumi Alaran in Abuja
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that it has commenced the process that would lead to another rebasing of the economy from the 2010 base year to 2018/2019.

The rebasement could further indicate an expansion or contraction of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
However, the statistical agency, in a statement by Head, Public Affairs and International Relations, Mr. Joel Ichedi, noted that the agency had commenced the National Business Sample Survey (NBSS), otherwise known as the survey of establishments, following the successful completion of listing of establishments, a component of National Business Sample Census (NBSC).

According to him, the objectives of the national business sample survey were to rebase the GDP as well as provide sectoral data at national and state levels.

He stated that the exercise would also revalidate the structure of the Nigerian economy and identify sectors that drive the economy as well as those that require government intervention to improve.

The NBS added that the survey would further serve as a benchmark for subsequent commercial and industrial sector statistics surveys.

Essentially, the survey covers the 36 states of the federation, including Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Altogether, 17 sectors of the economy will be covered during the exercise.

Ichedi said: “Already, data collection on the survey by NBS staff has commenced with lodgments of questionnaires in the selected establishments.

“NBS appeals to the selected establishments to provide the necessary information for the survey as their participation is germane for the successful completion of the survey exercise.”

Rebasing does not necessarily affect living standards but offers revised concepts and methodology for computing GDP and is unlikely to make tangible alteration to the critical issues in macro-economy.

In the previous rebasing exercise, Nigeria’s real GDP was rebased from about $270 billion to $510 billion in 2013.
The increase of about 90 per cent was attributed to new sectors of the economy such as telecommunications, movies, and retail which were previously not captured or underreported.

As a result of the rebasing, Nigeria became the largest country in Africa and 26 largest in the world.
However, the Statistician General of the Federation/Chief Executive, NBS, Dr. Yemi Kale had said rebasing of the country’ GDP is not a guaranty that the economy would expand.