The National Bureau of Statistics revealed that Nigeria’s economic growth slowed in the first quarter of 2018 for the first time since the country pulled out of recession last year as the non-oil sector struggled.
The economy grew by 1.95 percent in the first quarter lifted by the oil sector. That was a slight dip from 2.11 percent year-on-year in the final quarter of 2017. The economy shrank 0.91 percent in the first quarter of 2017, the bureau said.
Growth rates had been bouncing back since the third quarter of 2016, when the recession, its first in 25 years, bottomed out. Nigeria exited that contraction last year largely due to higher oil prices, with the country relying on crude sales for around two-thirds of government revenue.
Last week parliament passed a record 9.12 trillion naira budget for 2018 aimed at boosting growth in the economy nine months before the country’s next presidential election.
The oil sector grew 14.77 percent in the period, higher than the non-oil sector which rose 0.76 percent between January to March, the NBS said. Oil production stood at 2 million barrels per day in the quarter, up from 1.95 million in the previous quarter.
The GDP data comes a day before the central bank announces its decision on interest rates, with recent economic data showing that there’s scope for a rate cut as inflation dropped to a more than two year low in April of 12.48 percent.