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Nigeria Exits Recession As GDP Grows By 0.11% In Q4 2020

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.11 per cent in Quarter Four (Q4) 2020, from the 6.11 per cent contraction in Q3, signalling a gradual recovery from recession.
The NBS said this in the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report (Q4 and Full Year 2020) released on its website, yesterday, in Abuja.
The bureau said this represented 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 per cent compared to Q3 2020.
“On a quarter-on-quarter basis, real GDP growth was 9.68 per cent 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 per cent, a decline of –4.20 per cent when compared to the 2.27 per cent recorded in 2019.
It said in the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N43.564billion in nominal terms.
This performance, the bureau said was higher when compared to Q4 2019, which recorded a GDP aggregate of N39.577billion, representing a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 10.07 per cent.
The NBS classified the Nigerian economy into the oil and non-oil sectors.
For the oil sector, in Q4, the average daily oil production of 1.56 million barrels per day (mbpd) was recorded.
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.
It added that real growth of the oil sector was –19.76 per cent (year-on-year) in Q4 indicating a decrease by –26.12 per cent relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
“Growth decreased by –5.87 per cent when compared to Q3 2020, while quarter-on-quarter, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of –26.27 per cent in Q4.
“For 2020, the oil sector grew at –8.89 per cent compared to 4.59 per cent in 2019,” the report stated.
It added that the oil sector contributed 5.87 per cent to total real GDP in Q4, down from the corresponding period of 2019 and the preceding quarter, where it contributed 7.32 per cent and 8.73 per cent respectively.
The nation’s non-oil sector grew by 1.69 per cent in real terms in Q4 2020, slower than the 2.26 per cent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019, the NBS said.
It, however, said it was better than the –2.51 per cent growth rate recorded in the preceding quarter.
The NBS added that for the full year of 2020, the non-oil sector grew by –1.25 per cent compared to 2.06 per cent in 2019.
It said 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 per cent to the nation’s GDP in Q4 2020, higher than the share recorded in Q4 2019 (92.68 per cent) and Q3 2020 (91.27 per cent).
“For 2020, the non-oil sector contributed 91.84 per cent to real GDP, higher than 91.22 per cent recorded in 2019,” the NBS report said.
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 provide 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 allows the government to regularly access, analyse, and monitor economic developments.

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Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road

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No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.

By: Taneh Beemene

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Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank

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The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.

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Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms

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Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.

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