By Folasade Akpan
In spite of the slower pace of economic activities in the first quarter of the year (Q1, 2021), GDP grew by 0.51 per cent year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says.
The NBS said this in the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report for Q1 2021, released on its website on Sunday in Abuja.
The bureau said this marked two consecutive quarters of growth, following negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020.
It said the Q1 2021 growth rate was slower than the 1.87 per cent growth rate recorded in Q1 2020 but higher than 0.11 per cent recorded in Q4 2020, indicative of a slow but continuous recovery.
“Nevertheless, quarter on quarter, real GDP grew at -13.93 per cent in Q1 2021 compared to Q4 2020, reflecting a generally slower pace of economic activities at the start of the year.”
The NBS said that in the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N40.01 trillion in nominal terms.
It added that this performance was higher when compared to the first quarter of 2020 which recorded aggregate GDP of N35.64 trillion, indicating a year on year nominal growth rate of 12.25 per cent.
Also, the nominal GDP growth rate in Q1 2021 was higher, relative to 12.01 per cent growth recorded in the first quarter of 2020 as well as the 10.07 per cent growth recorded in the preceding quarter.
The NBS classified the Nigerian economy into oil and non-oil sectors.
For the oil sector, in Q1, average daily oil production stood at 1.72 million barrels per day (mbpd).
This was lower than the average daily production of 2.07mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2020 by 0.35mbpd but higher than the production volume of 1.56mbpd recorded in Q4 2020.
It added that the real growth of the oil sector was –2.21 per cent (year-on-year) in Q1, indicating a decrease of –7.27 per cent relative to the growth rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2020.
“Compared to Q4 2020 which recorded –19.76 per cent growth rate, growth in Q1 was higher by 17.55 per cent.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of 35.65 per cent in Q1.
“In terms of contribution to aggregate GDP, the oil sector accounted for 9.25 per cent of aggregate real GDP in Q1, slightly lower than 9.5 per cent recorded in the corresponding period of 2020 but higher than in the preceding quarter, where it contributed 5.87 per cent.”
The NBS said the non-oil sector grew by 0.79 per cent in real terms in Q1, which was –0.75 per cent lower compared to the rate recorded in the same quarter of 2020 and -0.89 per cent lower than rates recorded in Q4 2020.
However, growth in the non-oil sector was driven mainly by the Information and Communication (Telecommunication) sector.
Other drivers were agriculture (crop production), manufacturing (food, beverage and tobacco), real estate, construction, human health and social services.
It said that in real terms, the non-oil sector accounted for 90.75 per cent of aggregate GDP in Q1, higher than its share in Q1 2020 which was 90.50 per cent but lower than 94.13 per cent recorded in Q4 2020.
The bureau explained that Quarterly National Accounts (QNA) were an integrated system of macroeconomic accounts designed to describe the entire system of production in a nation on a quarterly basis.
They provided a picture of the current economic status of an economy on a more frequent basis than Annual National Accounts (ANA).
In providing a reasonable level of detailed information of the economy, QNA allowed the government to regularly access, analyse and monitor economic developments.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria’s GDP recovered from recession in Q4 2020 by 0.11 per cent, from the 6.11 per cent contraction it recorded in Q3 2020.