The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said that the Nigerian economy would have recorded stronger growth levels but was slowed by the agriculture sector.
She stated this at a press conference convened on Monday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohamed, addressing the recently released Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Ahmed said that the non-oil sector remained the major propeller for growth in the second quarter of 2021 with almost 7 percent, although, the agriculture sector was slowed by “several bottlenecks”.
She said, “the 2021 Q2 growth rate reflects much better economic performance compared to the same period last year, which recorded -6.10% growth rate.
“Furthermore, it was also better than the previous quarter (Q1) growth rate of 0.51%, on a year-on-year basis. Year to date, real GDP grew 2.70% in 2021 compared to -2.18% for the first half of 2020.
“Growth in Q2 2021 would have been much stronger had it not been for Agriculture recording slower growth at 1.30% due to several bottlenecks currently negatively affecting the sector and due to the industrial sector contracting by 4.23% largely due to the over 12% contraction in Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production.
“Nevertheless, the non-oil sector was a major driver of growth during the quarter, recording a growth rate of nearly 7% which represents the fastest growth in the non-oil sector since Q3 2014.
“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.
“The report, however, also indicates that some activities such as oil refining, crude petroleum and natural gas production as well as financial services recorded negative quarterly growth. Overall, a total of 42 out of 46 economic activities expanded during the quarter compared to only 13 at the same time last year, while 37 activities performed better than they did last quarter (Q1).”