In the Q4 2020 report, The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says Nigeria’s GDP grew by 0.11% from the 6.11% contraction in Q3, signaling a gradual exit from recession.
NBS said the report represents the first positive quarterly growth in the last three quarters.
“Though weak, positive growth reflects the gradual return of economic activities following the easing of restricted movements and limited local and international commercial activities in the preceding quarters.
“As a result, while the Q4 2020 growth rate was lower than the growth rate recorded the previous year by –2.44 per cent, it was higher by 3.74% compared to Q3 2020.
“On a quarter-on-quarter basis, real GDP growth was 9.68% indicating a second positive consecutive quarter-on-quarter real growth rate in 2020, after two negative quarters,” the report noted.
The NBS said overall, in 2020, the annual growth of real GDP was estimated at –1.92%, a decline of –4.20% when compared to the 2.27% recorded in 2019.
It said in the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N43.564 billion in nominal terms.
This performance, the bureau said was higher when compared to Q4 2019, which recorded a GDP aggregate of N39.577 billion, representing a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 10.07%.
The report shows varying performance in the oil and non-oil sectors of the economy.
For the oil sector, the average daily oil production of 1.56 million barrels per day (mbpd) was recorded in the fourth quarter.
This was lower than the daily average production of 2.00 mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2019 by -0.44 mbpd and Q3 2020 by –0.11 mbpd.
The real growth of the oil sector was –19.76% (year-on-year) in Q4 indicating a decrease by –26.12% relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
“Growth decreased by –5.87% when compared to Q3 2020, while quarter-on-quarter, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of –26.27% in Q4.
“For 2020, the oil sector grew at –8.89% compared to 4.59% in 2019,” the report stated.
It added that the oil sector contributed 5.87% to total real GDP in Q4, down from the corresponding period of 2019 and the preceding quarter, where it contributed 7.32% and 8.73% respectively.
For the non-oil sector, there’s growth of 1.69% in real terms in the quarter under review, slower than the 2.26% recorded in the corresponding quarter the previous year, the NBS said.
The Bureau however, said it was better than the –2.51% growth rate recorded in the preceding quarter.
It explained that for the full year of 2020, the non-oil sector grew by –1.25% compared to 2.06% in 2019. And the growth in the sector was driven by information and communication (Telecommunications and Broadcasting).
Other drivers were agriculture (crop production), real estate, manufacturing (food, beverage and tobacco), mining and quarrying (quarrying and other minerals) and construction, accounting for positive GDP.
“In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 94.13% to the nation’s GDP in Q4 2020, higher than the share recorded in Q4 2019 (92.68%) and Q3 2020 (91.27%).
“For 2020, the non-oil sector contributed 91.84% to real GDP, higher than 91.22% recorded in 2019,” the NBS report said.
The major drivers are: Information and Communication which contributed 14.70%; Agriculture, 3.42%; Health & Social Services, 3.05%; Real Estate, 2.81%; Water Supply, 1.92%; while Public Administration and Construction recorded 1.80% and 1.21% respectively.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s inflation rate has climbed to a 33-month high, as it rose from 15.75% to 16.47% in January, according to data from NBS. The report noted that food inflation rose from 19.56% in the previous month to 20.57% in January, while core inflation leaped from 11.37% in December to 11.85% in January.
It is the highest rate of inflation recorded by Nigeria since 2008 July, when food inflation hit 12.9%. The NBS attributed the rise to increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, fruits, vegetables, fish, oils and fats.
The Bureau said the composite food index rose from 17.38% in September 2020 to 18.30% in October.
Nigeria has been grappling with inflation since late 2019, following the decision of the federal government to close land borders. Although the borders were reopened in December, plummeted oil revenue and shocks from COVID-19-induced lockdown have kept the inflation on the rise.