There are now indications that the Nigerian economy is well on its way out of recession considering the 2016 overall and last quarter Gross Domestic Product reports. A review of the recent GDP figures released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, show a contraction of -1.30 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, translating into an estimated economic growth rate of -1.51 percent for the full year. Besides, the Nigerian economy actually performed better overall last year as the growth rate was higher with a contraction at -1.5 percent than the -1.8 percent predicted by the IMF, raising the hope that the recession may have bottomed out with the improving trends in several key sectors of the economy including agriculture and mining. The Buhari administration is also hopeful that with the ongoing series of engagement with the oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta, the increased oil production output would be sustained. In a similar vein, the ongoing implementation of the Social Investment Programmes, the significant infrastructural spending of the federal Government, and a possible early legislative passage of the 2017 budget are all expected to spur a positive multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy. The Buhari administration will not relent in its determined effort and it’s comprehensive approach to bring about the full recovery of the Nigerian economy and set it on a solid path of sustainable growth. Our work continues and we renew the pledge to do it with diligence, and the firm commitment it deserves. Excerpts of the presidency statement are as follow: “The recently released data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that Gross Domestic Product, GDP, contracted by -1.30 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. This translated into an estimated growth rate of -1.51 percent for the full year 2016. These figures reflect the slow-down in the economy for most of 2016 but also show that the recession may have bottomed out because of an improving trend in several key sectors. Although the oil sector declined by -12.38 percent on a year on year basis, this was a relative improvement compared to third quarter when the decline amounted to -22.01 percent. This outcome was due mainly to increases in production such that the quarter on quarter growth for the oil sector between the third and fourth quarters was 8.07 percent. The non-oil sector however declined by 0.33 percent after showing some resilience in the third quarter when it grew by 0.03 percent at the height of the recession. Agriculture grew at 4.03 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 which was a marginal decrease from the 4.54 percent growth in the third quarter. This is mainly because agriculture (especially crop production, which accounts for the bulk of agricultural production) is highly seasonal, with growth in the third quarter of the year usually higher than the others. Nevertheless, the overall outcome for the year was that the agricultural sector grew by 4.11 percent for the whole of 2016 which was higher than the figure of 3.72 percent for 2015. The manufacturing sector actually grew on a quarter on quarter basis by 1.89 percent but declined over the year by 4.32 percent reflecting the problems that the sector faced in the course of the year due to a combination of factors including the depreciation in the exchange rate and higher energy costs. The metal ores sub-sector grew by 7.03 percent in Q4 of 2016 as compared to 6.93 percent in the last quarter of 2015, thus justifying the priority that the Federal Government continues to give to solid minerals. The services sector, which accounted for 53.55 percent of GDP in 2016, experienced a decline in growth by -0.82 percent over the year as compared to a growth of 4.78 percent in 2015. This slowdown in the services sector arose from generally fragile economic conditions. This is because its fortunes depend to a large extent on consumer spending and government expenditure which were both adversely affected by difficult economic conditions. Overall, the Nigerian economy performed better than expected even though we are still in the early stages of recovery. It is indeed noteworthy that overall 2016 growth was higher with a contraction at -1.5 percent than the -1.8 percent predicted by the IMF.”

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