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Expert calls for policy framework to address negative GDP growth

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An economist, Dr Aminu Usman, has advised the Federal Government to evolve a policy framework to address the negative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of the economy.

Usman, a lecturer in the Department of Economics, Kaduna State University, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday.

The don, while reacting to the Nigerian GDP Report for Ist quarter of 2016 recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said that the economy needed urgent attention.

According to the report, GDP slowed by -0.36 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the first quarter of 2016.

The Bureau said that the GDP was lower by 2.47 per cent points from the growth recorded in the preceding quarter.

It said it was also lower by 4.32 per cent points from growth recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2015.

The don, however, said that the economy, which is going through recession, would be moving toward depression if appropriate actions were not taken to address the economic crisis.

The report said that quarter on quarter, real GDP slowed by 13.71 per cent during the quarter, while aggregate GDP stood at N22,262,575.97 million (in nominal terms) at basic prices.

“Compared to the First Quarter 2015 value of N21, 041,701. 10 million, nominal GDP was 5.80 per cent higher.

“Nominal GDP growth was, however, lower relative to levels recorded in 4th quarter of 2015 by 14.15 per cent points,’’ it said.

According to the report, the Nigerian economy could be better understood according to the oil and non-oil sector classifications.

The report said that in the First Quarter of 2016, oil production stood at 2.11million barrels per day (mbpd), 0.05mbpd lower from production in Q4 of 2015.

“Oil production was also lower relative to the corresponding quarter in 2015 by 0.07mbpd when output was recorded at 2.18mbp,’’ it said.

On the non-oil sector classification, the report said it also slowed down by 0.18 per cent in real terms in the quarter.

It said that while activities such as crop production, trade and telecommunications and information services supported growth of the sector, growth was weighed upon by declines in manufacturing, financial institutions and real Estate.

“The sector slowed 0.18 per cent in real terms in 1st quarter.

“ This was 5.77 per cent points lower from the corresponding quarter in 2014 and 3.32 per cent points from the previous quarter.

“In real terms, the Non-Oil sector contributed 89.71 per cent to the nation’s GDP.

“It is marginally higher from shares recorded in first quarter of 2016 (89.55 per cent) yet lower from and in the fourth quarter of 2015 (91.94 per cent),’’ it said. (NAN)

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Famutimi Femi is a writer for theheraldng. He is also a lawyer by trade. His hobbies include reading and writing, he also loves Renaissance art.

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