On Monday, August 24, the National Bureau of Statistics released its quarterly GDP report for Nigeria. The document details the growth of the Nigerian economy over the period between April and June.
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This was the period just after the most severe lockdown measures were eased. True to analyst’s expectations, the figures show that the country’s economy took a hit from the pandemic.
Nigeria’s GDP contracted -6.10%, the biggest decline in national productivity the county has seen in a long while. There’s a fear that this marks the beginning of a recession. Whether this gloomy prediction materializes will depend on how the economy performs in the next quarter (July-September).
A majority of sectors were negatively impacted. However, there were some winners; a few even rode to higher growth on the back of the lockdown.
The oil sector declined -6.63%, mirroring the general bearish trend across the economy. It had fared badly in the wake of plunging crude oil prices, which reached record lows as global lockdowns dried up demand for the commodity.
Restrictions on movement forced indices south in the transportation sector as well. Road transport nosedived -51.37%. The ban on air travel caused the industry to plummet -57.38%. Rail and water transportation were also severely impacted.
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Trade dipped -16.5% between April and June, exacerbating a downward trend that had already existed before COVID-19 arrived on Nigeria’s shores. The electricity and gas segment fell -3.0%.
Sectors such as construction, food and beverage manufacturing, mining, and textile also registered losses.
Agriculture proved its strength against major economic rises once more. It posted modest growth of 1.58% in Q2 2020. Although this wasn’t as much as it had boasted in previous quarters, it was one of a few silver linings in the NBS’s GDP report.
Telecoms GDP surged 18.1%, as people spent more time on their phones during the lockdown. Information and Communication services grew 15.09%, fueled by users who had more time on their hands and were doing more with IT tools. Broadcasting also reported gains.
The chemical and pharmaceuticals industry grew as well. Pharmaceutical companies were granted waivers to carry on with production and distribution during the lockdown, like the other businesses classed in the essential services category.
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