The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has released the Gross Domestic Product growth rate for the second quarter of this year which showed that the nation’s economy recorded a decline in performance from 1.95 per cent in the first quarter to 1.5 per cent.
Reacting almost swiftly, former vice president stated that it is guard against this that he is seeking to be Nigeria’s President in 2019.
According to the report, which was released on Monday, the second quarter growth rate was constrained by contractions in oil GDP.
It further revealed that oil GDP contracted by -3.95 per cent in the second quarter, as against 14.77 per cent in the first quarter of this year and 3.53 per cent in the second quarter of 2017.
The report said for the first time since Nigeria’s exit from recession, growth was driven by the non-oil sector, which grew by 2.05 per cent, representing the strongest growth in non-oil GDP since the fourth quarter of 2015.
The 2.05 per cent growth rate is higher than the 0.76 per cent growth which the sector recorded in the first quarter of this year.
The report added, “Non-oil growth was driven by transportation which grew by 21.76 per cent supported by growth in construction which grew by 7.66 per cent and electricity which grew by 7.59 per cent.
“Other non-oil sectors that drove growth in Q2 2018 include telecommunication which grew by 11.51 per cent, water supply and sewage which grew by 11.98 per cent and broadcasting which grew by 21.92 per cent.
“The non oil sector performance was however constrained by agriculture that grew by 1.3 per cent compared to three per cent in Q1 2018 and 3.01 per cent in Q2 2017.”
In his reaction, the former vice-president stressed that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government cannot tackle the challenges of unemployment and poverty confronting the country.
“This (the decline in GDP) is why I am running for President, to get Nigeria working again. I helped grow Nigeria’s economy as Vice President and have created more jobs than anyone running for President in 2019.
“This report shows Nigeria’s economic growth remains unimpressive. Also, the economy remains driven by the oil sector and economic diversification is yet to be achieved.
“As a consequence, we do not see how the FG can effectively fight the twin problems of unemployment and poverty,” Atiku wrote on Twitter.