About 112million Nigerians (about 67.1 per cent of the country’s total population of 167million) are living below poverty level, according to statistics from the latest poverty report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The report is coming against the background of revelations that the country’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate recorded a marginal rise from the 7.40 per cent in the preceding quarter to 7.68 per cent in the last quarter of 2011.The rate was 7.72 per cent in the 2nd quarter of last year.
Ironically, economic analysts have described the rise in the GDP rate as ‘exclusive’ since it has not translated to any real socio-economic gains in terms of unemployment opportunity for the teeming population of youth, poverty reduction and improvement in the general living conditions of the citizenry, which have continued worsen over the past year when compared with previous years.
Analysis on year-on-year basis shows that the 4th quarter growth was far below the 8.60 per cent recorded in the corresponding period of 2010, a development that was attributed to the decline in oil sector productivity as a result of a spate of production shut-ins recorded in the upstream sector during the period under review.
According to the Revised 2010 and 2011 estimates report released by the Bureau, the estimated GDP for the fourth quarter of 2011 was projected at N10.48 trillion as against the N9.5trillion during the corresponding quarter of 2010, thus indicating an increase.
“On the aggregate basis, the economy when measured by the Real Gross Domestic Product, grew by 7.68 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2011, as against 8.60 per cent in the corresponding period of 2010,” the NBS noted.
“The 0.92 percentage point decrease in Real GDP growth observed in the fourth quarter of 2011 was a result of production shut-down in the oil sector during the period. On a nominal basis, the GDP for the fourth quarter of 2011 was estimated at 10,048,574.17million naira as against the 9,459,399.32million naira during the corresponding quarter of 2010, thus indicating an increase,” the report added.
According to the Bureau, the fourth quarter GDP rate still indicated that efforts by government to ensure that Nigeria becomes one of the leading 20 economies in the world by year 2020 when measured by GDP are yielding desired results.
The agency noted that only two countries, Mongolia and China, with GDP growth rates of 14.9 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively out of the 46 countries that had released their GDP estimates f or fourth quarter of 2011, grew faster than Nigeria.
On the GDP growth rate on sectoral contributions, the NBS disclosed further that “at 218,156,647 barrels, crude oil and condensate production decreased by 6.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2011 with an average daily production of 2.49 million barrel per day, compared with the 234,330,982 barrels production recorded in the fourth quarter of 2010, with a corresponding average daily production of 2.6 million barrels per day.
“The non-oil sector continued to be a major driver of the Nigerian economy in the fourth quarter 2011. When compared with the corresponding quarter in 2010, the sector recorded 9.07 per cent growth in real terms. This growth was largely driven by improved activities in the telecommunications, Building and Construction, Hotel and Restaurant, Business Services and other sectors”, it added.