NIGERIANigeria’s economy recorded a 5.9 per cent growth year-on-year in real Gross Domestic Product terms in the fourth quarter of 2014.

But according to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the growth momentum was at a decreasing rate as the real growth was 29 basis points (bps) and 83bps weaker than 6.2 per cent and 6.8 per cent recorded in the third quarters of 2014 and 2013.

The oil sector grew by 1.2 per cent in the period under review, relative to the 9.4 per cent contraction in the corresponding period of 2013. 

The development was attributed to the significant growth in the volume of oil production to 2.18 million barrels per day (mpbd) in the fourth quarter of 2014, from 2.15mpd in the same period of 2013.

This however, offset the decline in the prices of crude oil- Bonny light at $75.73pd in the period under review from $112.06 per barrel in the corresponding period of 2013. 

The Non-Oil sector however, remained the major driver of growth as it expanded by 6.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014, representing a decrease as well, from 8.8 per cent and 7.5 per cent in the corresponding periods of 2013 and third quarter of 2013 respectively.

The total output of the Nigerian economy in nominal terms rose 11.2 per cent year-on-year from N80.1 trillion to N89 trillion. 

However, there was an observed significant depressed output of the Nigerian economy in dollar terms from $514.3 billion in 2013 to $449.7 billion) in 2014, attributable to the devaluation of the currency. 

The oil sector contributed 10.8 per cent at N9.6 trillion to the nominal GDP, while the Non-Oil sector contributed 89.2 per cent at N79.4 trillion. 

Analysts are optimistic that growth would remain resilient in 2015, but may be challenged by reduction in government discretionary spending, lower value of oil output and higher base. 

The Senators had last week adjusted the benchmark prices of crude oil and exchange rate for the 2015 fiscal plans from $65 and N165/$ set earlier to $52 and N190/$, which now largely reflects the realities on ground.

March 1, 2015;