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Non-Oil Sector Posts 2.47% Growth In Q1

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The Non-Oil sector of the Nigerian economy grew by 2.47 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of the year, 2019.

The first quarter report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.47 per cent in the non-oil sector. The figure is 1.72 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in Q1, 2018, but 0.23 per cent points lower than the fourth quarter, 2018 record.

The NBS report noted that the sector saw a mixed performance across its major components. The Agriculture sector grew 3.17 per cent, its highest in five quarters. The Industry’s sub-sector grew at a slower rate of four basis points, from 0.95 per cent in Q4, 2018 and 6.58 per cent in Q1, 2019. Also, although Services sub-sector rose 2.41 per cent, recovery from the decline of 0.47 per cent in Q1, 2018, it recorded a lower growth when compared to fourth quarter, 2018 of 2.90 per cent.

The year-on-year recovery recorded in the services sector is traceable to the strong growth recorded in the Information and Communication Sub-sector with a growth of 9.48 per cent year-on-year.

Overall, the contribution of the Non-oil Sector to aggregate GDP settled at 90.86 per cent, a marginal uptick from 90.45 per cent in Q1, 2018 but a 2.08 per cent decline from 92.94 per cent in Q4, 2018. 

Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) recently called on the federal government to drive the growth of the non-oil sector through enhanced participation of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) sector.

The Chamber said that the non-oil sector guaranteed a more sustainable growth beyond the volatility of oil prices in the international market, saying that the chamber was passionate at seeing the private sector empowered in order to positively impact on job creation, poverty alleviation and supporting economic development.

“We therefore recommend that the current reform efforts are sustained to ensure stronger and sustainable businesses in Nigeria. There is a need for a stable policy and regulatory environment that supports the reforms on the ease of doing business in Nigeria. Issues of taxation, trade and foreign exchange policies should be managed in line with international best practices.

“This should take into consideration policies that facilitate trade, attract foreign investment and protect businesses from avoidable regulatory pressures,” it said.

The Chamber said that with the right policy environment and provision of needed infrastructures, Nigerian entrepreneurs were resourceful and diligent to fully contribute to economic recovery and growth.

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