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GDP: Economist blames NASS for slowdown posted in Q1

An economist, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, on Wednesday blamed the National Assembly for the negative quarter-on-quarter growth posted by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2018.

Tella, a Professor of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, said that NASS members were causal factor for the stunted growth in the GDP.

He said delayed budget consideration and approval contributed to the drop in the GDP during the period under review.

“It is also hoped that NASS members will realise, through the figures, that they were the causal factor of the stunted growth and will in future take budget consideration and approval seriously as a primary assignment that it deserves,’’ Tella said.

He said the economy could still benefit before the end of the year if budget implementation, particularly in the areas of construction, power and agriculture was fast-tracked without compromising due processes.

Tella said these areas had a way of promoting employment and generating outputs in other sectors.

According to him, GDP released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for the first quarter is quite instructive and truly shows the situation of the economy.

“The Nigerian economy is generally driven by public sector spending, particularly spending on capital projects and programmes but there was no budget approval until last week.

“Hitherto, large proportion of government spending this year is mainly on recurrent expenditure and servicing of the huge external debt both of which cannot lift the economy.

In fact, the latter is withdrawal from the economy. So, it should be expected that the economy will not grow in real terms,’’ Tella said.

The economist said that year-on-year growth was due to increase in oil price increase. Tella expressed optimism that the third quarter would be different “if the budget implementation starts immediately the President signs it and monies are released in time’’.

TBI Africa reports that the NBS had on May 21, said that Nigeria recorded 1.95 per cent year-on-year growth in her Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2018.

According to the data released, the Q1 2018 figure shows a stronger growth when compared with the first quarter of 2017 which recorded a growth of -0.91 percent, indicating an increase of 2.87 per cent points.

However, when compared quarter-on-quarter, the nation’s GDP declined by 0.16 per cent points from 2.11 per cent recorded in Q4 2017.

The NBS said quarter-on-quarter, the real GDP growth was -13.40 per cent.

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