August 3, 2015
Volume 2 July 2013
Recent report in the media highlights that Nigerias GDP has dropped to $296 billion in 2016, in contrast to the $481 billion recorded in 20151 and Nigeria has lost its position as Africas largest economy to South Africa. This conclusion was based on the computation of GDP with current naira-dollar exchange rate. However, while the naira has significantly lost its official value since the adoption of a flexible exchange rate, estimating GDP merely with a single exchange rate figure (rather than its yearly average) cannot be regarded as an appropriate method to conclude on Africas largest economy.
The Executive council recently approved a three-year external borrowing plan (2016-2018) which specifies external borrowing of approximately $30 billion (to be sourced mostly from MDBs) for infrastructure development. Although, the plan is yet to be approved by the Senate, the planned concessional loans for infrastructural development would imply inflows of foreign exchange which could help moderate the exchange rate volatilities in the near term, and offer potential improvement in business productivity and job creation.
Recent NBS data on Nigerias real GDP growth rate declined from -0.36 percent in 2016Q1 to -2.06 percent in 2016Q2. With negative GDP growth rate in two consecutive quarters, Nigeria records its first recession in 23 years. Both the oil and non-oil sectors continued to contract by -15.59 and -0.20 percentage points, respectively, relative to preceding quarter. The worsening growth rate in the oil sector was largely driven by the decline in domestic crude oil production by 14.5 percent relative to preceding quarter