By Charles Etuka
The Nigerian economy has recorded a second recession in the current political dispensation, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS),the country’s official data agency.
NBS said the economy slipped into recession at the end of the third quarter (Q3) which ended in September.
Nigeria’s economy went into a recession in 2016 due to the poor economic policies that led to a snailish economic activities upon assumption of the reins of government in 2015 of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the NBS, this recession is the worst since 1987 as the Gross Domestic Product in real terms declined by -3.62% (year-on-year) in the third quarter of 2020 and is driven by the long closure of the Nigerian borders which restricted economic movements across the borders.
“Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) recorded a growth rate of –3.62% (year-on-year) in real terms in the third quarter of 2020,” NBS said on Saturday.
“Cumulatively, the economy has contracted by -2.48%While this represents an improvement of 2.48% points over the –6.10% growth rate recorded in the preceding quarter (Q2 2020), it also indicates that two consecutive quarters of negative growth have been recorded in 2020.
“Furthermore, growth in Q3 2020 was slower by 5.90% points when compared to the third quarter of 2019 which recorded a real growth rate of 2.28% year on year.
“The performance of the economy in Q3 2020 reflected residual effects of the restrictions to movement and economic activity implemented across the country in early Q2 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As these restrictions were lifted, businesses re-opened and international travel and trading activities resumed, some economic activities have returned to positive growth. A total of 18 economic activities recorded positive growth in Q3 2020, compared to 13 activities in Q2 2020,” it explained further.
The report also said during the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N39,089,460.61 million in nominal terms, adding that the performance was 3.39% higher when compared to the third quarter of 2019 which recorded an aggregate of N37,806,924.41 million.
“This rate was, however, lower relative to growth recorded in the third quarter of 2019 by –9.91% points but higher than the proceeding quarter by 6.19% points.
“For clarity, the Nigerian economy has been broadly classified into the oil and non-oil sectors:The contract mark the beginning of a full-blown recession and second consecutive contraction from -6.10 per cent recorded in the previous quarter of this year.”
According to the numbers contained in the report, oil GDP contracted by -13.89 per cent from -6.63 per cent in the second quarter of this year and 6.49 per cent in Q3 2019.The country’s non-Oil GDP contracted -2.51 per cent from -6.05 per cent in Q2 2020 and 1.85 per cent in Q3 2019 Information & Communication under Services GDP grew 14.56 per cent compared to 16.52 per cent in Q2 2020 and 9.88 per cent in Q3 2019.
Services real GDP contracted by -5.49 per cent compared to -6.78 per cent in Q2 2020 and 1.87 per cent in Q3 2019.
Construction under Industry real GDP grew by -2.84 per cent compared to -31.77 per cent in Q2 2020 and 2.37 per cent in Q3 2019.
Industry real GDP contracted by -6.12 per cent compared to -12.05 per cent in Q2 2020 and 3.21 per cent in Q3 2019. Telecoms real GDP grew by 17.36 per cent compared to 18.1 per cent in Q2 2020 and 11.3 per cent in Q3 2019.
Agricultural sector grew by 1.39 per cent compared to 1.58 per cent in Q2 2020 & 2.28 per cent in Q3 2019.
Reacting to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) quarterly report, its Director-General, Dr Muda Yusuf, told newsmen that the news of recession was not surprising.
Yusuf said the EndSARS crisis might perpetuate the recession into the fourth quarter. He added that the protests and the destruction that followed were major setbacks for the nation’s economic recovery prospects.
Yusuf, however, expressed hope that the economy would resume to the path of growth in the first or second quarter of 2021, barring any new disruptions to the economy.
“From an economic perspective, 2020 has been a very bad year; the worst in recent history.
“We are faced with the double jeopardy of a stumbling economy and spiraling inflation.
“The October inflation numbers of 14.23 per cent was the highest in 10 months, a condition which in economic parlance is characterized as stagflation.
“The effects of these developments are evident in businesses and in households,he said.