By Chika Otuchikere
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday released the first quarter 2020 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data showing that Nigeria’s GDP grew by 1.87 percent.
According to the bureau, this year-on-year growth posted by the country came despite the “backdrop of significant global disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, a sharp fall in oil prices and restricted international trade.”
The report stated that in Q1 2020, the aggregate GDP stood at N35.647 trillion in nominal terms, higher than N31.824 trillion recorded in the first quarter of 2019, with a nominal growth rate of 12.01 percent year-on-year.
During the period under review, the oil sector recorded a real growth rate of 5.06 percent (year-on-year) in Q1 2020, indicating an increase of 6.51 percent points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
However, growth decreased by 1.30 percent points when compared to Q4 2019 which was 6.36 percent. Quarter-on-quarter, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of 11.30 percent in Q1 2020.
The report disclosed that the oil sector contributed 9.50 percent to aggregate real GDP in Q1 2020, up from figures recorded in the corresponding period of 2019 and the preceding quarter, as the share of the non-oil economy declined.
The non-oil sector, on the other hand, grew by 1.55 percent in real terms during the reviewed quarter (Q1 2020). This was slower by –0.93 percent points compared to the rate recorded during the same quarter of 2019, and –0.72 percent points slower than the fourth quarter of 2019.
Information and Communication (Telecommunications), Financial and Insurance (Financial Institutions), Agriculture (Crop Production), Mining and Quarrying (Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas), and Construction were the key drivers of the non-oil sector.
The non-oil sector, in real terms, contributed 90.50 percent to the nation’s GDP in the first quarter of 2020, less than its share in the first quarter of 2019 which was 90.78 percent and the fourth quarter of 2019 recorded as 92.68 percent.
Activities that witnessed weaker performance compared to Q1 2019 include Quarrying, Road transport, Accommodation and Food services as well as real estate.
Also, in the report, the bureau said the performance recorded in Q1 2020 represents a drop of –0.23 percent points compared to Q1 2019 and –0.68 percent points compared to Q4 2019, reflecting the earliest effects of the disruption, particularly on the non-oil economy.
Quarter on quarter, real GDP growth was –14.27 percent compared to 5.59 percent recorded in the preceding quarter.