The Federal Government has hailed the economic growth recorded in the third quarter (Q3) of the year, as agriculture and mining continue to maintain steady growth, as indicated by the latest GDP figures just released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
The just released GDP saw oil, agriculture and industrial sectors leading the charge.
According to the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, the Buhari administration welcomes the new growth figures, and will continue to work diligently on a daily basis to ensure inclusive growth, to which it has always been committed through the active pursuit of a raft of policy initiatives, past and present.
He said after the Q3 figures were released, the latest figure has shown that the economy grew by 1.4%.
He said: “The latest NBS GDP figures show that the Nigerian economy grew by 1.4% year-on-year in real terms in the third quarter of 2017 (Q3 2017). This is a steady continuation of the positive growth of 0.55% (now revised to 0.72%) experienced in Q2 2017 and reinforces the exit from the 2016 recession.
“The positive growth in Q3 is consistent with the improvements in other indicators. Foreign exchange reserves have risen to nearly $34 billion, while the stock market and purchasing managers indices have also been positive.”
He said the Naira exchange rate had stabilised while inflation had declined to 15.91% from 18.7 in January 2017.
He said while inflation was not declining as fast as desirable, it was approaching the estimated target of 15.74% for the year in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
“Agricultural growth was 3.06% in the third quarter of 2017, maintaining the positive growth of the sector even when there was a slow-down in the rest of the economy.
“The industrial sector grew at 8.83% mostly due to mining and quarrying. The oil sector grew very strongly as forecast in the ERGP and partly as a result of the policy actions in the plan to restore growth in the sector.”
He also admitted that the service sector was yet to recover, but that it should soon begin to be positively affected by the improvements in the real economy, and the effects of the dedicated and focused capital spending of over N1.2 trillion on infrastructure by the Federal Government.
“It is expected that the economy will continue to grow given these developments and the reform, and improvements in the business environment shown by the upward movement of 24 places in the recently released World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings which was better than the target of 20 places specified in the ERGP.
“The overall picture that emerges is that the economy is on the path of recovery. As inflation trends downwards, and with steady implementation of the ERGP, real growth should soon be realised across all sectors in a mutually reinforcing manner.”