Lagos — The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Wednesday revealed that Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of this year grew by 7.23 percent with the Nominal GDP with non-oil sector being the major driver of growth.
The NBS in its 2010 first quarter report on the Nation's GDP and endorsed by the Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Vincent Akinyosoye, revealed that the non-oil sector played a dominant role in the real GDP with growth rate of 8.15 as against the previous quarter.
"On an aggregate basis, the economy when measured by the Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), grew by 7.23 percent in the first quarter of 2010 as against 4.50 percent in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
"The 2.73 percentage point increase in Real GDP growth observed in the first quarter of 2010 was accounted for by the increase in production in the oil sector of the economy. The nominal GDP for the first quarter of 2010 was estimated at 6,399,716.09 million naira as against the 5,404,850.00 million naira during the corresponding quarter of 2009, thus, indicating an increase of 994,866.09 million naira," the NSS report read in part.
Stating that the oil sector plays a pivotal role in the Nigerian economy as a dominant source of revenue period NBS disclosed that the sector witnessed increased production within the period under review than in the corresponding quarter of 2009.
It cited that about 202,358,601 barrels of crude oil and condensates were estimated for the first quarter of 2010 with an average daily production of 2.25 million barrels per day compared with the 184,661,774 barrels produced within the first quarter of 2009 with a corresponding average daily production of 2.05 million barrels per day.
The NBS explained that the observed increase contribution of oil to the GDP was attributable to the improvement in output, which could be traced to the various interventions by government in the peace process in the oil producing regions.
"The Oil sector contributed about 18.70 percent to real GDP in the first quarter 2009, while the contribution in first quarter of 2010 was however 18.00 percent. The Non-oil sector continued to be a major driver of the economy in the first quarter of 2010 when compared with the corresponding quarter of 2009.
"The sector recorded 8.15 percent growth in real terms in the first quarter of 2010 compared with 7.90 percent achieved a year ago. The Nonoil sector experienced a declining growth in the first quarter of 2010 when compared with the preceding quarter of 2009" the read further observed.
On the subsectors of the non-oil sector of the economy, the NBS noted that during the first quarter of 2010, the manufacturing activities decreased relative to the same period in 2009 as it recorded a decline in growth rate from 7.03 percent in 2009 to 6.43 percent in 2010.
It attributed the development to the low manufacturing activities usually recorded in the first quarter after the festivities in the last quarter of the previous year, poor electric power supply, and inability to access credit from banks arising from the credit crisis in the banking sector.
The Telecommunications sector continued to perform impressively and has remained one of the major drivers of growth in the Nigerian economy.
The report pointed that following intensive marketing strategies and value added services by telecommunication companies in Nigeria, the sector recorded a real GDP growth of 32.54 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared with 31.75 percent recorded in the corresponding period of 2009.