By Obinna Chima
The non-oil sector of the Nigerian economy was the main driver of the country’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2013, a report has indicated.
According to the report, ongoing reforms in the key sectors of the economy also aided output of the non-oil sector.
FSDH Merchant Bank Limited stated this in its economic and financial outlook titled: “Time to Rebalance,” obtained at the weekend.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data had shown that GDP growth rate stood at 6.81 per cent as at the third quarter of 2013. The growth rate of the non-oil sector stood at 7.95 per cent as at the third quarter of 2013, the highest quarterly growth as at end-September 2013.
The increase in the economic output recorded in the third quarter of 2013 was as a result of increases recorded in the agriculture, hotels and restaurants, building and construction and telecommunications sectors of the economy.
The contribution of the non-oil sector in the third quarter of 2013 was due to benign weather conditions that led to bountiful harvests in the agriculture sector, increased investments by local and foreign investors and the positive macroeconomic environment.
The report however identified the privatisation of the power sector, agricultural transformation initiative among factors to drive the country’s growth.
It noted that the privatisation of the power generation and distribution companies erstwhile owned and operated by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) had set the tone for the eventual turn-around and increased growth in the output potential of the Nigerian economy in the medium-to-long term.
Furthermore, it pointed out that the supply of adequate and consistent electricity in the country would help to galvanise activities in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
“We expect GDP to grow by 6.54 per cent in 2013 and will average 8.12 per cent during 2014 and 2018. The import substitution policy and other fiscal measures of the federal government aimed at encouraging the development of the agriculture sector and agro-allied activities will boost output of the sector,” it added.