Economist tasks NBS on proper reflection of maritime’s contribution to GDP


An Economist, Dr Muda Yusuf, has charged the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to engage stakeholders of the maritime sector to appropriately capture its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Yusuf, also Founder, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises (CPPE), gave the advice on Sunday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Friday posted a 3.54 per cent GDP growth in the second quarter of 2022.

This marks the seventh consecutive quarterly GDP growth since Nigeria’s exit from recession in the fourth quarter of 2020.

According to the NBS, real sector: agriculture, manufacturing, construction, road and air transportation, financial services, information and communication technology, trade and real estate recorded varying degrees of growth.

Sectors that contracted include: oil refining, rail transportation, crude oil and gas, metal ores, electricity vehicle assemblies, electricity and air-conditioning, motion pictures, music and textiles.

Yusuf said that the maritime sector’s contributions to GDP, which was very critical in the international trade process and generated appreciable revenue, was evidently under-reported.

“For instance, in the Q2 GDP report, the maritime sector (water transport) was said to have contributed a mere N2.4 billion to the GDP out of N45.5 trillion GDP for the quarter; a mere 0.01 per cent.

“In the first quarter of 2022, the NBS recorded 0 per cent contribution of the sector to GDP.

“In the GDP numbers, water transport is the only proxy closest to maritime but maritime sector activities are beyond water transportation.

“We, therefore, appeal to the National Bureau of Statistics to engage with stakeholders in the maritime sector to ensure a proper capturing of the activities of the sector and the contributions of the sector to the national economy.

“This remedy on data quality is critical for planning and investment,” he said.

Yusuf said key drivers of the contractions included continued inactivity of the country’s major refineries, cloud of insecurity hovering over the railway system, crude oil theft and vandalisation of oil facilities in the oil producing areas and inclement operating environment for businesses.

He said the GDP report further underlined the dominance of the non-oil sector which accounted for 93.67 per cent of the GDP while the oil sector accounted for 6.63 per cent.

He, however, noted that the oil sector continues to play a leading role in the generation of foreign exchange and a significant role in the generation of government revenue.

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“This underscores the persistent productivity challenges which has continued to characterise the non-oil sector of the economy seeing that the non-oil contribution to our export earnings is still less than 5 per cent,” he said.

Yusuf tasked government to address challenges of the massive oil theft, provide safety for the oil facilities and implement the Petroleum industry Act to reverse the under performance of the oil and gas sector.

He added that the electricity sector reforms needed a review to improve efficiency and productivity in the sector.

According to him, the challenges in the electricity supply chain needs to be urgently addressed from gas to power, transmission, distribution, energy pricing, metering, and the capacity of the distribution companies.

He stated that there was the need to put fiscal incentives in place to boost investment in renewable energy in line with the energy mix objective of government.

“Such incentives could be in the areas of tax incentives and the waivers of import duty on renewable energy equipment.

“There is an urgent need to decentralise the national grid for ease of management and efficiency and there should also be a deliberate policy to attract private investment in the electricity grid,” he said.

He also tasked government to revive the textile sector by ensuring that all uniforms of security agencies and other government institutions are produced from local textile fabrics.

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