The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released the Gross Domestic Product report for the fourth quarter of 2018, with the economy recording a growth rate of 2.38 per cent year-on-year.
The 2.38 per cent growth rate in the GDP represents an increase of 0.27 percentage points when compared to the fourth quarter figure of 2.11 per cent.
It is also an increase of 0.55 percentage points when compared with the growth rate recorded in the third quarter of 2018.
The report stated that the fourth quarter growth performance implied that overall, real GDP grew at an annual rate of 1.93 per cent in 2018.
When compared to 0.82 per cent recorded in 2017, the overall growth rate of 1.93 per cent in 2018 is an increase of 1.09 percentage points.
It read in part, “In the fourth quarter of 2018, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 2.38 per cent in real terms year-on-year.
“This represents an increase of 0.27 per cent points when compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, which recorded a growth rate of 2.11 per cent. It also indicates a rise of 0.55 per cent points when compared with the growth rate recorded in Q3 2018.
“The fourth quarter growth performance implies that real GDP grew at an annual growth rate of 1.93 per cent in 2018, compared to 0.82 per cent recorded in 2017, an increase of 1.09 per cent points.”
During the fourth quarter, the NBS report stated that aggregate nominal GDP stood at N35.23tn.
This, the report stated, was higher than N31.27tn recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017.
For the 2018 fiscal period, the NBS report put the nominal GDP at N127.76tn, representing a nominal growth rate of 12.36 per cent when compared to the N113.71tn recorded in 2017.
The economic performance, according to the NBS, was driven by the non-oil sector, which grew by 2.70 per cent in real terms during the fourth quarter of 2018.
The 2.70 per cent growth rate is 1.25 percentage points higher than the growth rate recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017. It is also 0.38 percentage points higher than the growth rate recorded in the third quarter of 2018.
On an annual basis, the non-oil sector recorded a growth rate of two per cent in 2018, performing considerably better than the 0.47 per cent witnessed in 2017.
The key performing activities during the quarter were information and communications technology, transportation and storage, arts and entertainment, agriculture and manufacturing.
A further breakdown of the non-oil sector showed that the fourth quarter growth was driven by transportation, which grew by 9.48 per cent; construction sector, which grew by 2.05 per cent and electricity, which rose by 0.95 per cent.
Other non-oil sectors that drove growth in the fourth quarter of 2018 are telecommunications (16.67 per cent), agriculture (2.46 per cent) and quarrying and other minerals (20.9 per cent).
There was also strong growth recorded in the manufacturing sector, which grew by 2.35 per cent compared to 1.92 per cent in the third quarter of 2018.
The NBS report put the contributions of the non-oil sector to real GDP at 92.94 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018.
This, it noted, was slightly higher than the 92.65 per cent experienced in the fourth quarter of 2017.
For the 2018 fiscal period, the NBS report stated that the annual contribution of the sector was recorded at 91.40 per cent against the 91.33 per cent contribution recorded in 2017.
An analysis of the report showed that 39 out of 46 economic activities recorded growth in the fourth quarter of 2018.
For the agricultural sector, the report said that in real terms, the sector grew by 2.46 per cent year-on-year, which was an increase of 0.55 percentage points from the preceding quarter.
For the whole of 2018, the report stated that growth was 2.12 per cent, which was lower than the 3.45 per cent recorded in 2017.
The sector contributed 26.15 per cent to overall GDP in real terms during the fourth quarter, which is slightly higher than the 26.13 per cent contribution in the same period in 2017.
For the manufacturing sector, the bureau said in the fourth quarter of 2018, the nominal GDP growth rate for the sector was 33.57 per cent, which was 24.37 percentage points higher than the 9.2 per cent growth rate recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.
It added that the fourth quarter growth rate of 33.57 per cent was 0.84 percentage points higher than 32.73 per cent recorded in the preceding quarter.
It added, “The contribution of manufacturing to nominal GDP in Q4 2018 was 10.11 per cent, which is higher than its contribution in the corresponding period of 2017 (8.53 per cent) and Q3 2018 (10.01 per cent).
“For 2018, the sector contributed 9.75 per cent to total nominal GDP, higher than its contribution of 8.83 per cent in 2017.
“Real GDP growth in the manufacturing sector was recorded at 2.35 per cent in Q4 2018, which is higher than the 0.14 per cent recorded in the same quarter of 2017 and 1.92 per cent recorded in the preceding quarter.”
For the oil sector, the report put real GDP growth rate at –1.62 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2018, indicating a decline of –12.81 percentage points relative to the growth rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2017.
However, when compared to the third quarter of 2018, the growth rate for the sector increased by 1.29 percentage points.
On an annual basis, real GDP growth for the oil sector stood at 1.14 per cent as against 4.69 per cent recorded in 2017.
The oil sector, according to the report, contributed 7.06 per cent to real GDP in the fourth quarter of 2018, 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.
For 2018, the contribution of the oil sector to aggregate real GDP was 8.60 per cent, slightly lower when compared with 8.67 per cent in 2017.
Reacting to the economic performance, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said the Federal Government was encouraged by the fact that the growth was largely driven by the non-oil sector.
Udoma, in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Akpandem James, on Tuesday, said, “Adherence to the Economic Recovery and Growth plan has resulted in the economy coming out of a recession and heading towards sustainable economic growth.”
“It is a clear indication that our programmes and policies are on the right track.
In the same vein, the Presidency said that the nation’s economy was improving in growth.
The Presidency, applauding the GDP statistics released by the NBS, said it was an indication of “continuous growth” and a better performance above Q3 of 2018 and in the corresponding Q4 in 2017.
The Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, said the increase meant that the ERGP of the current administration was working.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, quoting Dipeolu, noted further, “It is encouraging that agriculture, which accounts 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 service sector, which accounts for 53.62 per cent of GDP, registered its strongest growth performance in 11 quarters.
Giving the credit to the administration’s ERGP, he added, “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 three per cent in 2019 as estimated in the ‘Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.’
“The Buhari administration will continue to pursue the ERGP diligently and Nigerians can expect that economic conditions will continue to get better even as we move on to the Next Level.”