…growth, cheering news – Prof. Uwaleke
By Etuka Sunday
National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday in its report disclosed that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.81% (year-on-year) in real terms in the third quarter of 2018.
NBS said, compared to the third quarter of 2017 which recorded a growth of 1.17%, there is an increase of 0.64% points.
The second quarter of 2018 had a growth rate of 1.50% showing a rise of 0.31% points. Quarter on quarter, real GDP growth was 9.05%.
The Bureau said, in the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N33, 368,049.14 million in nominal terms. This performance is higher when compared to the third quarter of 2017 which recorded a GDP aggregate of N29, 377, 674.03 million thus, presenting a positive year on year nominal growth rate of 13.58%.
This growth rate is higher relative to growth recorded in the third quarter of 2017 by 2.88% points and higher than the preceding quarter by 0.01% points with growth rates of 10.70% and 13.57% respectively.
For clarity, the Nigerian economy has been classified broadly into the oil and non-oil sectors.
Speaking on the development, Nigeria’s first Professor of Capital Market, Prof. Uche Uwaleke said, “the Q3 2018 GDP report which showed the economy grew by 1.8% compared to 1.5% in Q2 is cheering news because it marked an end to the downward trend in GDP growth noticed since the first quarter of this year.
“Of note is the performance of the non oil sector where marginal improvements were recorded in manufacturing, especially cement production, Transportation and agriculture,” he said.
The Capital Market Professor said, the outcome may have been helped by the implementation of the 2018 budget which kicked-in at the beginning of the third quarter, the relative stability in the exchange rate as well as the CBN’s interventions in the real sector.
He said, be that as it may, the growth is still weak and fragile particularly with respect to the sectors that have strong linkages to jobs.
“The performance of the financial services sector which is critical to the economy is disappointing,” he said.
Going forward, he said, “there is the need to vigorously implement the capital component of the 2018 budget, invest more in education and health sectors which are lagging behind, tackle the incessant farmers-herdsmen clashes weighing down on food production and enhance access to credit by target beneficiaries of the various CBN intervention schemes.
“Overall, improvement in the ease of doing business will go a long way in increasing the risk appetite of financial institutions in Nigeria which will positively rub off on GDP growth,” he said.