Nigeria’s GDP Slows to 3.10% in 2022 Despite 3.52% Growth in Q4
By Adedapo Adesanya
In 2022, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria slowed to 3.10 per cent from 3.40 per cent recorded in the preceding year, 2021.
Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday evening showed that this occurred amid a 3.52 per cent (year-on-year) growth in the economy in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Business Post reports that in the preceding quarter, Q3 of 2022, the country posted economic growth of 2.25 per cent, but when compared with the same quarter of 2021, it moderated from 3.98 per cent.
The performance of the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2022 was driven by the services sector, which recorded a growth of 5.69 per cent and contributed 56.27 per cent to the aggregate GDP.
Although the agriculture sector grew by 2.05 per cent in the reference period, its performance was significantly hampered by severe incidences of flood experienced across the country, accounting for lesser growth relative to the fourth quarter of 2021, which was 3.58 per cent.
Recall that Nigeria faced an unprecedented devastating flood disaster in the second half of the year, which saw 662 persons lose their lives, with 3,174 others suffering injuries and 2,430,445 individuals displaced, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Moreover, the industry sector was yet challenged in the period under review, recording -0.94 per cent growth and contributing less to the aggregate GDP relative to the third quarter of 2022 and the fourth quarter of 2021.
This means that the performance of the agriculture and industry sectors reduced in 2022 relative to 2021, while the performance of the services sector improved in 2022.
According to the report, in the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N56.7 trillion in nominal terms.
This performance is higher when compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, which recorded aggregate GDP of N49.2 trillion, indicating a year-on-year nominal growth of 15.18 per cent.
The NBS noted that the nation in the fourth quarter of 2022 recorded an average daily oil production of 1.34 million barrels per day, lower than the daily average production of 1.50 million barrels per day recorded in the same quarter of 2021 by 0.16 million barrels per day and higher than the third quarter of 2022 production volume of 1.20 million barrels per day.
It said the real growth of the oil sector was –13.38 per cent (year-on-year) in Q4 2022, indicating a decrease of 5.33 per cent points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2021.
It explained that growth increased by 9.29 per cent points when compared to Q3 2022, which was –22.67 per cent.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of -14.93 per cent in Q4 2022.
“However, the annual growth rate of oil stood at -19.22 per cent compared to the -8.30 per cent recorded in 2021.
“The Oil sector contributed 4.34 per cent to the total real GDP in Q4 2022, down from the figures recorded in the corresponding period of 2021 and the preceding quarter, where it contributed 5.19 per cent and 5.66 per cent, respectively. The total annual contribution of oil to aggregate GDP in 2022 was 5.67 per cent,” the report said.
The non-oil sector grew by 4.44 per cent in real terms during the quarter, the NBS said, noting that this rate was lower by 0.29 per cent points compared to the rate recorded in the same quarter of 2021.
This sector was driven in the fourth quarter of 2022 mainly by information and communication (telecommunication), trade, agriculture (crop production), financial and insurance (financial institutions), manufacturing (food, beverage & tobacco), real estate and construction, accounting for positive GDP growth.
Tinubu Promises Unified Exchange Rate, Lower Interest Rate
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria’s new president, Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has promised to unify Nigeria’s multiple exchange rate regimes in an effort to tackle the lingering forex crisis in the country.
The President made the disclosure during his inauguration on Monday, May 29, at Eagle Square in the nation’s capital, Abuja, after he took the oath of office earlier this morning.
Speaking on his agenda for the next four years, Mr Tinubu said his administration would seek to bring the different exchange rate regimes being operated across the country’s FX channels under a single regime.
It is, however, not clear which of the channels will be the official exchange rate, but many analysts, which Business Post spoke to, believe that the disparity in the rates at the official and parallel market will make the latter the obvious choice.
Mr Tinubu’s promise aligns with that of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, which warned that for the country to fix its economy, it must increase the tax rates, especially the value-added tax (VAT), from 7.5 per cent to double digits, adopting a single exchange rate regime, remove subsidies on petrol, and raising the benchmark interest rate to curb inflation, which is now at 22.22 per cent.
The new President also promised to do all within his power to ensure that there is a reduction in the country’s high-interest rate.
The current benchmark interest rate of Nigeria is 18.5 per cent. It was raised from 18.0 per cent a few days ago after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) held the 291st monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.
Experts warn that this will lead to an increase in lending rates and worsen the uncompetitiveness of the Nigerian economy.
Mr Tinubu noted that his administration would work towards a single-digit lending rate to allow for more investment into the country in order to boost the performance of Africa’s largest economy.
“Monetary policy needs a thorough housecleaning. The Central Bank must work towards a unified exchange rate. This will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment and jobs that power the real economy.
Interest rates need to be reduced to increase investment and consumer purchasing in ways that sustain the economy at a higher level,” Mr Tinubu said.
Panic as Queues Return to Petrol Stations After President’s Announcement
By Dipo Olowookere
Nigerians may have to undergo another round of hardship as queues returned to petrol stations on Monday shortly after President Bola Tinubu announced the removal of fuel subsidy.
Mr Tinubu was sworn-in as the 16th President of Nigeria today after the tenure of Mr Muhammadu Buhari expired.
During his inaugural speech, the new leader of the country emphatically said the regime of the federal government paying to make Nigerians get the product at a cheaper price was gone.
This caused some consumers to rush to the filling stations to buy petrol at the current official price of N184 per litre.
Due to this panic buying, several queues were witnessed by Business Post at some of the petrol stations selling the product in Lagos.
It was observed that in a few places where petrol was being dispensed to customers, motorists formed long queues, while those buying in Jerry cans flooded fuel pumps.
As of the time of filing this report, some of the petrol stations earlier selling to customers have stopped dispensing the product.
Some of the consumers who spoke with this newspaper blamed Mr Tinubu for the situation, saying he was not supposed to announce the subsidy removal on his first day in office.
They claimed his statement was vague as it did not specify when the subsidy would be removed, giving oil marketers the opportunity to hoard the product to monitor the market sentiment.
During his campaign, Mr Tinubu said his administration would remove petrol subsidy to free up funds to stimulate the economy.
At his inauguration today, the President said, We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor.
“Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources. We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions.”
MultiChoice Develops Integrated Payment Platform
By Adedapo Adesanya
MultiChoice Group, the owners of DStv, has announced a joint venture with Rapyd and General Catalyst to develop an integrated payment platform for Africa called Moment.
In a statement, the company said Moment would offer expanded payment infrastructure for businesses across Africa to help them collect and make payments easier, quicker, and more affordable in any manner that their buyers or suppliers prefer.
Moment, according to Multichoice, will also offer additional options for consumers to spend and save money more wisely.
“The aim is to transform the African payments landscape by making digital payments more accessible and reliable for domestic, cross-border, and global payments,” the statement said.
Speaking on this, Mr Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group CEO, expressed excitement about the venture with Rapyd and General Catalyst.
“It will address the need for an accessible and reliable payment platform for many small businesses and millions of consumers in Africa. Investing in this venture is a logical progression for us, as we already process payments every month from 22 million households across 50 countries in Africa. Moment fulfils our strategy to expand our ecosystem by investing in adjacent businesses that provide scalable services underpinned by technology,” he said.
Moment will consolidate the $3.5 billion in payments that the MultiChoice Group processes annually to expand options for subscribers and make payment processes efficient, as well as extend Africa’s most complete payment network to African and global businesses.
“We are thrilled to be able to partner with MultiChoice and our network partners to provide Africa’s most complete payment platform for businesses through Moment. Africa is one of the most exciting markets in the world – with tremendous opportunities to expand the use of digital payments, drive cash payments to real-time digital payments, and capitalise on the tremendous entrepreneurial drive of African businesses,” added Mr Arik Shtilman, CEO of Rapyd.
“Africa represents one of the most exciting investment opportunities for global investors. Over the next 20 years, most of the population growth of the world will be happening in Africa, along with increasing urbanisation. African consumers and businesses are not only moving business online but will be the labour force for the world across the next 20 years,” added Mr Adam Valkin, Managing Director at General Catalyst Partners.
The long-term plan is to provide the infrastructure for pan-African payments for the 44 million small businesses operating on the continent. It is also to turn the 90 per cent of retail transactions that are currently taking place in cash into digital payments.
Moment also aims to make digital transactions more accessible to the 350 million consumers that are underbanked or not banked at all.
Moment’s long-term service offering includes providing payments across 40+ countries in Africa through 200+ locally preferred payment methods to collect, disburse and manage risk; driving adoption of PayShap, TCIB, NQR, and other real-time payment methods across all markets; and facilitating global-Africa trade for importers and exporters with virtual accounts in 40+ currencies and local payments in 130+ countries.
Others include payment tools, deep inventory to sell, and financial services for micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs and offering consumers payments, savings, and rewards.
“Moment gives MultiChoice another opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the economic development of the African continent. It will play a key role in accelerating cash-to-digital payments for all consumers and businesses and making the continent more investment ready for global players by connecting payments from Africa to the world,” Mr Mawela added.
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