Tax Firm Advises FG on GDP Report Accuracy

More Than 130 Countries Agree To Set Global Tax Rate At 15%

Ecovis OUC, a prominent tax, accounting, and audit consulting firm, has offered counsel to the Federal Government regarding the importance of ensuring the reliability of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data.

The advisory comes in response to the recently released third-quarter GDP report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The latest GDP report revealed a 2.54 percent year-on-year growth in Nigeria’s economy, reaching N19.44 trillion. This growth rate represents an improvement over the same period in 2022 (2.25 percent) and the preceding quarter of 2023 (2.51 percent), indicating a positive trend for the country. The reported figure is also the highest recorded in 2023, despite the challenges posed by election uncertainties and the impact of various government reforms.

However, Mr. Andrew Uviase, the Managing Partner at Ecovis OUC, has raised concerns about the accuracy of the figures presented by the NBS, stating that they deviate from reality.

Uviase expressed apprehension about the parallel growth rates of the Nigerian population (2.5 percent) and the real GDP (2.5 percent), describing it as “very worrisome” and suggesting that it indicates economic stagnation. He emphasized the importance of considering changes in the age distribution of the population and the state of the country’s aging infrastructure when assessing the true impact of the reported results on citizens’ well-being.

Identifying key areas of concern, Uviase highlighted the decline in the contributions of the real sector, specifically in the Agriculture and Industrial sectors, to the GDP. In contrast, the Services sector experienced appreciation. He raised questions about the overall reliability of the information presented, particularly focusing on content and mode of presentation.

Expressing doubts about the accuracy of the real GDP for Q3, Uviase argued that, considering the shocks and inflationary pressures experienced, the figures should reflect a more realistic picture. He further voiced concerns about the potential consequences of declining contributions from the real sectors, including an increase in imports of food items and finished goods. The firm’s advice underscores the importance of accurate economic data for informed decision-making and policy formulation.

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