Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has expressed hope that Nigerians will soon feel the impact of gradual growth in the nation’s economy.
The minister spoke, yesterday, at a media briefing held with regards to the recently published Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates of the second quarter of 2021 by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The NBS had claimed that the country’s GDP grew by 5.01 per cent, culminating in the third consecutive quarter of growth since last year’s slowdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Bureau, it is the strongest real GDP growth the nation’s economy has recorded since the last quarter of 2014.
Ahmed noted that though the impact of the growth might not be felt by the masses now; there is a gradual improvement across sectors of the economy. She said there has also been a decline in the prices of food crops.
Ahmed, however, blamed the pace of insecurity across the country for the decline recorded in the agricultural sector.
She said: “When these estimates are considered along with declining inflation rate, which slowed from 18.17 per cent at the end of Q1 to 17.75 per cent at the end of Q2 and as at July stands at 17.38 per cent, it is clear that the economic recovery is gradually picking up steam.
“With favourable international economic conditions expected, as economic activities and normalcy returns across major economies, and local conditions continue to improve to allow business activities, the Nigerian economy is expected to maintain a steady path to more inclusive growth.
“Broadly speaking, the services sector recorded a strong performance, growing at 9.27 per cent during the quarter, representing the fastest growth in the service sector since 2010.
“Nevertheless, the non-oil sector was a major driver of growth during the quarter, recording a growth rate of nearly seven per cent, which represents the fastest growth in the non-oil sector since Q3 2014.”
Also at the event were the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of State, Finance, Clem Agba, as well as the newly appointed Statistician General of the Federation, Simon Harry.
“Specific activities which recorded growth during the quarter include trade, transportation, coal mining, metal ores as well as insurance, each of which recorded double digit growth.”