Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.51%(year-on-year) in real terms in the first quarter of 2021, marking two consecutive quarters of growth following the negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020. The Q1 2021 growth rate was slower than the 1.87% growth rate recorded in Q1 2020 but higher than 0.11% recorded in Q4 2020, indicative of a slow but continuous recovery. Nevertheless, quarter on quarter, real GDP grew at -13.93% in Q1 2021 compared to Q4 2020, reflecting a generally slower pace of economic activities at the start of the year.
In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N40,014,482.74 million in nominal terms. This performance is higher when compared to the first quarter of 2020 which recorded aggregate GDP of N35,647,406.08 million, indicating a year on year nominal growth rate of 12.25%. The nominal GDP growth rate in Q1 2021 was higher relative to 12.01% growth recorded in the first quarter of 2020 as well as the 10.07% growth recorded in the preceding quarter. For better clarity, the Nigerian economy has been classified broadly into the oil and non-oil sectors.
The Oil Sector
In the first quarter of 2021, average daily oil production stood at 1.72 million barrels per day (mbpd), or 0.35mbpd lower than the average daily production of 2.07mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2020 but higher than the production volume of 1.56mbpd recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The oil sector recorded real GDP growth rate of -2.21% (year-on-year) in Q1 2021 indicating a decrease of -7.27% points relative to the growth rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2020 (5.06%). Compared to Q4 2020 which recorded -19.76% growth rate, growth in Q1 2021 was higher by 17.55% points. Quarter-on-quarter, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of 35.65% in Q1 2021. In terms of contribution to aggregate GDP, the Oil sector accounted for 9.25% of aggregate real GDP in Q1 2021, slightly lower than 9.5% recorded in the corresponding period of 2020 but higher than in the preceding quarter, where it contributed 5.87%.
The Non-Oil Sector
The non-oil sector grew by 0.79% in real terms in Q1 2021, which was -0.75% points lower compared to the rate recorded in the same quarter of 2020 and -0.89% points lower than rates recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020. Growth in the non-oil sector was driven mainly by the Information and Communication (Telecommunication) sector while other drivers include Agriculture (Crop Production); Manufacturing (Food, Beverage & Tobacco); Real Estate; Construction and Human Health & Social Services. In real terms, the Non-oil sector accounted for 90.75% of aggregate GDP in the first quarter of 2021, higher than its share in the first quarter of 2020 which was 90.50% but lower than 94.13% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020.