The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday said that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 7.68 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, disclosed this in a statement made available in Abuja.
He said that the figure was 0.92 per cent below the 8.60 per cent recorded in the corresponding period in 2010.
“On an aggregate basis, the economy, when measured by the Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), grew by 7.68 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2011 as against 8.60 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2010,’’ the statement said.
It said that the 0.92 percentage decrease in Real GDP growth observed in the fourth quarter of 2011 was due to production shut-down in the oil sector during the period.
“On a nominal basis, the GDP for the fourth quarter of 2011 was estimated at N10.05 trillion as against the N9.46 trillion during the corresponding quarter of 2010, thus indicating an increase,’’ the statement said.
The NBS said that the country’s GDP became more relevant because Nigeria’s objective of being among the 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020 would be measured by GDP.
“Out of the 46 countries that had released their GDP in the fourth quarter of 2011, only Mongolia and China stood at 14.9 per cent and 8.9 per cent, respectively.
“Two countries, as at the time of this report, grew faster than Nigeria, and China is ahead of Nigeria in current GDP rankings,’’ the statement said.
It said that many countries which Nigeria surpassed continued to either record negative growth or grow slower than previously estimated during the visioning process.
“Nigeria may not need the double digit growth envisaged in the vision’s blueprint despite the fact that attaining double digit growth is within its (Nigeria) capacity,’’ the statement said.
NBS said that the GDP growth was driven by growth in activities of the solid minerals, telecommunications, wholesale and retail trade, building and construction, hotel and restaurant, real estate and business services sectors.
“These sectors, which make up approximately 30.8 per cent of the nation’s GDP, each grew at an average rate of over 10 per cent during the year.
“Most vibrant is the communication sector, which grew at an average rate of 34.8 per cent in 2011.
“On the other hand, the oil sector output decreased as a result of the facilities shut down in the sector,’’ the statement said.
The bureau also stated that at 218.15 million barrels, crude oil and condensate production decreased by 6.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2011, with an average daily production of 2.4 million barrel.
It stated that the production figure was lower when compared with the 234.33 million barrel production recorded in the fourth quarter of 2010, with a corresponding average production of 2.6 million barrels per day.
“Crude oil production, with its associated gas components, resulted in a growth rate in real term of 0.40 per cent in oil GDP in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the 6.68 per cent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2010.
“Real GDP, driven by non-oil production activities, grew at 7.68 per cent in the fourth quarter 2011, ’’ the statement said.
“Accordingly, the Nigerian oil sector witnessed unprecedented levels of disruption compared to recent times due to temporary shutdown of facilities such as at Bonga, a 200,000 barrel per day (bpd) facility, which supplies about 10 per cent of Nigeria’s total crude output.
“However, the sector benefited immensely from the high international crude oil market price and the exchange rate regime of naira against the dollar in spite of decline in daily average production in the quarter under review.
“The oil sector contribution of about 14.64 per cent to real GDP in the fourth quarter 2010, however, dipped in the corresponding 2011 to 13.54 per cent,’’ the statement said.
More Youths Engage In Artisanal Refining
As unemployment bites harder amidst rising cost of living, more youths in rural communities in Rivers State are now going into artisanal refining business to earn a living.
The Tide reliably gathered that some youths residing in Port Harcourt City were gradually moving to rural communities for bunkering business otherwise known as ‘kpo-fire’
Narrating his experience to The Tide, Mr Godwin Ibeneme who resides in Rumuekini in Akpor, said he was introduced into the kpor-fire business by his father.
Ibeneme, who hails from Ibaa/ Obelle area of Emohua Local Government Area, said his father compelled him to join other youths who were thriving in the business in the community.
“My father came to my house here in Rumuekini, and told me to come to the village, that other young men are making it through kpo-fire’ bunkering since I have lost my job.
“ I didn’t waste time to give it a trial, because I had really looked for what to do, since I lost my job at a fast-food company. Since then, I can tell you that I have been taking care of myself, unlike before when everything looked hopeless”, he explained.
The Tide also learnt that the kpo-fire’ business was currently thriving in Isiokpo axis of Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
A resident of the community who pleaded anonymity, told The Tide that there was a high level of discrimination in the business.
According to him, he decided to engage himself at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, to hustle for his daily bread, instead of staying idle.
The Tide recalls that the Federal Government had promised to build modular refineries in the Niger Delta region since 2019 as an alternative to illegal oil bunkering in the region as well as to create employment for the youth.
The Tide also reports that three years after the promise was made, nothing has been done in that regard.
Oyigbo Cassava Plant, Legacy Project -Akawor
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Amb. Desmond Akawor, says the cassava plant project, being executed by the Rivers State Government in Oyigbo is a legacy project that will generate huge employment for Rivers people.
He said the project was well thought out and would stand the test of time to tackle unemployment as well as ensure food availability in the state.
Akawor made the remarks during an interaction with journalists at the weekend in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the cassava plant which was supposed to be executed by the previous administrations, was initially planned to be a joint venture between the state government and some organisations, but that the other partners did not pay their counterpart funding.
“The steps taken by the Wike-led administration to bring this project to life without the counterpart funding is commendable, because of the huge economic benefits it will give to the state.
“Many people have also been employed at the construction sites of flyovers being executed by Julius Berger. Eighty percent of those working there are indigenes, while the company provides the expatriates”, he said.
The PDP chairman also hinted on the plans of the state government to privatise the Buguma fish farm and banana farm, among others, so as to make them more viable.
He said that the state government had not abandoned the projects initiated by the previous administration, but was thinking on what to do with them.
Akawor maintained that the employment of 5,000 persons into the civil service was still ongoing, saying the government is only taking time to ensure that indigenes of the state are employed.
PH Airport Resumes Skeletal International Flight Operations
Skeletal flight operations have resumed at the international wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
This follows the lifting of the curfew that was imposed in the state by the Rivers State Government to check cases of insecurity in the state.
The Tide’s checks show that many of the airlines that operate international flights are yet to resume flight operations, even though the coast is clear for them to resume operations.
The Cronaux Airline, it was gathered, is the only airline at the moment that has fully resumed international flight.
Other airlines that operate at the international wing, like the Lufthansa Airline, Turkish Airline, and Ethiopian Airline are yet to resume operations.
The Acting Head of Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Kunle Akinbode, confirmed the resumption of international flight operations at the airport, last Friday, saying the international wing is now open for international airlines to operate.
He explained that the curfew that was imposed in the state delayed the resumption of international flights operations, even when issues of Covid-19 standard protocols had been addressed.
“Now that the curfew is over and the international wing is open for flight operations, it is left for each of the airlines to work out its own schedule for operations.
“It will not be the duty of the airport management to sort things out for them and know when to resume. I know that some have started. Lufthansa has said they will resume next month, August”, Akinbode said.
The Tide reports that the international wing of the Port Harcourt Airport had been shut since the Covid-19 lockdown, and did not reopen when other international airports in Lagos, Abuja and Kano among others reopened for international operations.
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