Nigeria’s GDP data released by its National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has continued to elicit reactions as expected with Razia Khan, chief economist for Africa at Standard Chartered, noting for example that the figure “is not at all a robust,” given the country’s potentials.
“It still falls far short of the growth rates the Nigerian economy should be achieving,” she told Reuters.
While oil accounts for the bulk of Nigeria’s foreign earnings and government revenue, latest data by the NBS shows it makes up less than a tenth of the GDP.
The office said the second quarter GDP contribution from the non-oil sector – notably agriculture and manufacturing, including textiles, clothing and footwear – shrank slightly from the previous three months and from the previous year.
Nigeria’s government has also touted agriculture as a way to wean the country off its oil dependence. Growth there fell to 3.01 percent from 4.53 percent in the second quarter of 2016.
“Regardless of growth moving back into positive territory, it remains fragile,” said Celeste Fauconnier, a regional economist at Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg, which predicts a full-year expansion of just 0.5 percent.
“An undiversified production base, a host of structural rigidities and persistent security troubles point to a prolonged and gradual recovery period,” said Fauconnier.
Nigerian crude production slumped last year as militants attacked oil facilities, with an average output of 1.54 million barrels a day in the second quarter of 2016, according to OPEC figures.
Output rebounded after the government engaged in negotiations to address communities’ grievances in its crude-producing heartlands in the Niger Delta.