Following the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) second quarter 2021 result indicating that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 5.0 per cent, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has described it as an evidence that the economy is recovering fast from COVID-19 trajectories. Director-General of LCCI, Dr. Chinyere Almona, while reacting to the Chamber’s position on the Q2 GDP result in a statement made available to New Telegraph recently, said the 5.01 per cent GDP increase was buoyed by increase in non-oil sector activities through growth in Trade, Information and Communication (Telecommunication), Transportation (Road Transport), Electricity, Agriculture (Crop Production) and Manufacturing (Food, Beverage & Tobacco). According to her, the non-oil sector’s remarkable performance could be linked to the loss of jobs to the negative effects of the pandemic, may have driven more people into the retail trade, commerce, and logistics. Almona said: “The National Bureau of Statistics has released the national accounts for Q2’21 showing that the GDP grew by 5.01 per cent year on year compared with 0.5 per cent recorded in Q1’21.
This is a strong and a more desirable growth when we look at the non-oil growth of 6.7 per cent year on year compared with the 0.79 per cent in Q1. “This shows an increase in non-oil sector activities through growth in trade, information and communication (telecommunication), transportation (road transport), electricity, agriculture (crop production) and manufacturing (food, beverage & tobacco).”
She said that the loss of jobs due to the negative effects of the pandemic may have driven more people into the retail trade, commerce, and logistics. “The positive growth in the transport sub-sectors like road and rail transport may have also had some positive impact on trade with the easing of movement. “This is also evident that the Nigerian economy is recovering fast and sustained by the reduction in supply chain disruptions especially as there was no serious lockdown on economic activities in the second quarter,” Almona added. The LCCI DG stressed that the Economist Magazine’s ranking of global recoveries ranked Nigeria at 4th position in the world as at end of 2020.
“The ease in movement supported the increase in economic activities across the country where we still experience serious security challenges. “With this Q2 performance and if this is sustained, the growth projections for Nigeria will be reviewed upwards in the coming weeks. “However, we must watch and respond appropriately to the major threats to this growth performance like the third wave of COVID-19 infections that could lead to restrictions of movement, the rising spate of insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, and the persistent farmer/herder conflicts,” she stated. Almona further added:
“The contraction in ICT growth in Q2 is simply a base effect factor when you look at the positive growth in Q2 compared to what was recorded in preceding quarters especially in 2020. “The information and communication sector grew by 5.50 per cent in Q2’21 from 6.31 per cent in Q1’21 and 16.52 per cent in Q2’20. “The concentration on the use of ICT during the lockdown periods of 2020 recorded a double-digit growth rate. “Since this year, we have recorded single-digit because the use concentration may have slightly reduced especially as comparatively fewer people work from home against what was obtained in 2020.”