Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s Finance Minister, has said containment of the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of fiscal and monetary measures were responsible for the country’s 4.03% GDP growth in Q3 2021.
Ahmed made this known on Wednesday in a meeting with State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The minister added that Nigeria now has had four consistent quarters of growth from Q4 2020 to Q3, 2021, as recorded by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
She maintained that the steps taken by the government to contain the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the strict implementation of its fiscal policies helped in improving the economy.
Ahmed said: “The result shows an improvement from the contraction that we witnessed in 2020. Recall that we had negative growth in Q2 and Q3, 2020.
“We entered into a recession technically and then exited recession by the fourth quarter of 2020. So, this report shows that we now have four consistent quarters of growth from Q4 2020 to Q3, 2021.
“The GDP third quarter report shows a growth of 4.03 per cent in the third quarter 2021, compared to a contraction of minus 3.62 per cent in the third quarter of last year.
“So, part of the economic activities that were the major drivers of growth within this reporting period is services which grew by 8.41 per cent.”
The minister also noted that the growth in the service sector was largely driven by better performance in the rail transport sector, pipeline sector, air transport, financial institutions, road transport sector and water transport as well as crude.
She said: “So, factors that are responsible for this growth include the commitment of the government to continued containment of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the implementation of fiscal and monetary measures to support businesses contained in the Economic Sustainability Plan.”
According to her, the growth in Industry has been consistent, but Nigeria is experiencing a slowdown compared to the last quarter of 2021 and the contraction of the industry is driven by the poor performance of the crude oil and natural gas sectors, coal mining, quarrying, minerals as well as oil refinery.
She added: “The Q3 GDP report indicates that the oil sector’s contribution to the GDP today stands at 7.49 percent while the non-oil sector’s contribution to the GDP stands at 2.51 percent.
“This indicates that the Nigerian economy is truly much diversified with the oil sector contributing just 7.49 percent.”