3.5% Projected Growth For Economy Achievable, Says FG

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By ‘Dotun Akintomide

The federal government has said the latest GDP figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has further bolstered confidence that the 3.5% growth forecast for the Nigerian economy in 2018 is achievable.

The Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, Tuesday hinged his optimism on the 1.92% growth announced by NBS for last the quarter of 2017.

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In the previous third quarter of 2017, the Nigerian economy grew  by 1.4%, and this latest figure for the fourth quarter marks the third consecutive growth since  the exit from recession in the second quarter of 2017.

The latest GDP figures now show the economy improving in all major sectors, including especially the non-oil sector which had contracted for quite a while.

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Dipeolu while reacting to the latest NBS figures on the economy through a statement said: “The figures recently released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for the fourth quarter of 2017 (Q4 2017) and the full year 2017 (FY 2017) show a consolidation of post-recession growth in the national economy.

“The growth of 1.92% in Q4 2017 was an improvement on both the previous quarter and the previous year. This quarterly growth contributed to an overall positive growth rate of 0.82% in 2017 which translates to a 2.24% points increase from -1.58% in 2016.

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“There are two encouraging aspects of the figures. The first is that all major sectors of the economy namely agriculture, industry and services are now experiencing positive growth,” he said.

Dipeolu also stated that Agriculture, which accounted for 25% of GDP in 2017, grew by 4.23% in Q4 2017; while Industry grew by 3.92%. The Services sector, which is about 53% of GDP, returned to positive growth in Q4 2017.

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According to him, though the increase in the service sector was marginal at 0.10, it represented a positive swing of 2.76% points from the level in Q3 2017.

“The other notable element of the data is that the non-oil sector experienced a strong growth of 1.45% in Q4 2017 as compared to a contraction in the previous quarter and the whole of 2016. This showing, the strongest since 2015, points to steady improvements across the economy.

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“Also noteworthy in this regard were strong quarterly growth in crop production, crude oil production, metal ores, construction, transportation, trade, electricity and gas production.

“The positive trajectory for the economy should begin to gain momentum as the multiplier effects of investments in infrastructure, including power, roads, and rail, alongside improvements in the business environment begin to manifest.

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“The agricultural sector is expected to continue its strong showing, while manufacturing should also show sustained growth based on improved availability of foreign exchange and greater backward integration in several of its sub-sectors.

“Taking all these factors into consideration, the Federal Government estimate of 3.5% growth in 2018 is quite achievable,” he stated.

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