President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed second quarter (Q2) 2021 report by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, showing a third consecutive quarter of positive growth of Nigeria’s economy, as well as the highest quarterly growth in GDP since 2014.
Data released by the NBS yesterday, Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew grew by 5.01 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2021, marking three consecutive quarters of growth following the negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020.
The Q2 2021 growth rate was higher than the -6.1 per cent growth rate recorded in Q2 2020 and the 0.51% recorded in Q1 2021 year on year, indicating the return of business and economic activity near levels seen prior to the nationwide implementation of COVID-19 related restrictions.
In a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina , the President commended managers of the economy for hard work and commitment, urging them to keep at it till the positive development “touches the lives and pockets of the average Nigerian.
PMB also approved the appointment of Dr Simon B. Harry as the new Statistician-General (SG) of the Federation to head the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Special adviser on media to the minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Yunusa Abdullahi, in a statement said Dr. Harry succeeding the out-going SG, Dr Yemi Kale, whose second term tenure of five years expired on August, 16, 2021.
In another development, PMB disclosed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), for first time in the 44-year history of the establishment, recorded a profit after tax of N287 Billion in the year 2020.
“I am pleased to announce the declaration of Profit after Tax of N287 billion in year 2020 by the NNPC . This is sequel to the completion of the statutory Annual Audit exercise for year 2020,” said President Buhari who doubles as minister of petroleum resources.
Meanwhile, the NNPC is to supply 300,000 barrels per day of crude oil to the 650,000 per day Dangote Refinery, which is now under construction, to bolster domestic fuel supply and guarantee outlets for its crude, a report by S&P Global Plaats said yesterday.
This is coming a few weeks after the federal government approved a bid by NNPC to acquire a 20 per cent stake in the Dangote project.
“We will have a right to 20 per cent of production from this facility. We structured our equity participation on the basis that the refinery must buy at least 300,000 b/d of crude oil of our production,” the agency in its Refinery news for Thursday quoted Kyari as saying in a statement.
“This guarantees our market at a period when every country is struggling to find markets for their crude oil.”
Nigeria currently exports almost all of the crude and condensate it produces.
The global agency noted that a lack of upstream investment in Nigeria along with OPEC+ cuts has contributed to a steady fall in its oil production over the past decade. Despite having the capacity to pump around 2.2 million-2.3 million b/d of crude and condensate, output has averaged around 1.62 million b/d so far in 2021, according to S&P Global Platts estimates.
The steady recovery observed since the end of 2020, with the gradual return of commercial activity as well as local and international travel, accounted for the significant increase in growth performance relative to the second quarter of 2020 when nationwide restrictions took effect.
However, the GDP grew -0.79 per cent in the second quarter of 2021 compared to Q1 2021 when the economy grew positive growth rate of 0.5 per cent reflecting slightly slower economic activity than the preceding quarter due largely to seasonality, according to data to that was released by the NBS yesterday.
“Year to date, real GDP grew 2.70 per cent in 2021 compared to -2.18 per cent for the first half of 2020. Nevertheless, quarter onquarter, real GDP grew at -0.79 per cent in Q2 2021 compared to Q1 2021, reflecting slightly slower economic activity than the preceding quarter due largely to seasonality,” the NBS said in the report that was released yesterday.
In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N39,123,713.32 million in nominal terms, higher than the second quarter of 2020 with aggregate GDP of N34,023,197.60 million, indicating a year on year nominal growth rate of 14.99%.
President Buhari welcomes Q2 2021 report by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, showing a third consecutive quarter of positive growth of Nigeria’s economy, as well as the highest quarterly growth in GDP since 2014.
Continuing the President commended managers of the economy for hard work and commitment, urging them to keep at it till the positive development “touches the lives and pockets of the average Nigerian.”
He said “The main drivers of the Q2 2021 economic growth include Trade, Information and Communication (mainly Telecommunications), Transportation, Electricity, Agriculture (Crop Production) and Manufacturing.
“The service sector, specifically, recorded its strongest performance in more than a decade, growing at 9.27%.
“These main growth drivers of this second quarter performance are reflective of the gains from easing restriction of movement locally and internationally, and the improvement in the business and economic environment compared to the same period in 2020.
The President noted the decline in real growth in the oil sector in Q2 2021, compared to a year ago. Oil production levels were at 1.62million barrels per day, compared to 1.67million barrels per day in Q2 2020. The lower production output as well as the volatility in oil prices since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, is responsible for the decline in performance of the oil sector.
President Buhari assured that recent reforms and efforts like the conclusion of the Marginal Fields Bid Round, the renewed focus on gas development (including the NLNG Train 7 project, and various pipeline construction projects) as well as the passage and assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), are certain to attract new investment to the oil and gas sector, and create conditions for more robust levels of growth in the future.
“It is gratifying to note that the various policies of the administration, aimed at boosting agricultural production, improving the business environment, and investing massively in infrastructure, are beginning to yield fruit. Equally gratifying is the complementary news of the steady decline in the rate of inflation, over the last few months.
“The positive effects of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), which helped fast-track the country’s exit from the COVID-induced recession of 2020, continue to be evident, as some of the sectors driving the Q2 2021 growth have benefited or are benefiting from government-led interventions.
“The successful roll-out of vaccines and COVID-19 protocols has also helped to reduce pressures on the healthcare system and the need for a lockdown.
Looking to the future, the President assured Nigerians that there is much to be optimistic about. He assures that the investments in agriculture and infrastructure will continue, as will on-going efforts to achieve a significant improvement in the security situation across the country.
“There is no doubt that a more secure environment – which the security agencies are working hard to achieve – will spur and energize the shoots of economic progress being seen and felt in the country,” the president said.
On the NNPC financial report Mr President said “The NNPC losses were reduced from N803 billion in year 2018 to N1.7 billion in year 2019 and the eventual declaration of Net Profit in Year 2020 for the first time in its 44-year history.
“This development is consistent with this administration’s commitment to ensuring prudent management of resources and maximization of value for the Nigerian people from their natural resources.
“I have further directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to timely publish the Audited Financial statements in line with the requirements of the law and as follow up to our commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability by public institutions.
“I congratulate the Board, Management and Staff of the Corporation and look forward to greater value creation for the Nigerian people.”