“We 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.”
An economist, Muda Yusuf, has charged the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to engage maritime sector stakeholders to appropriately capture its contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP).
Mr Yusuf, the founder of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises (CPPE), stated this on Sunday.
The NBS on Friday posted a 3.54 per cent GDP growth in the second quarter of 2022. It marked the seventh consecutive quarterly GDP growth since Nigeria’s exit from recession in the fourth quarter of 2020.
According to the NBS, the real sector (agriculture, manufacturing, construction, road and air transportation, financial services, information and communication technology, trade and real estate) recorded varying degrees of growth. The sectors that contracted included oil refining, rail transportation, crude oil and gas, metal ores, electricity vehicle assemblies, electricity and air-conditioning, motion pictures, music and textiles.
Mr Yusuf said the maritime sector’s contributions to GDP, which were critical in the international trade process and generated appreciable revenue, were 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 zero per cent contribution of the sector to GDP,” the economist explained. “In the GDP numbers, water transport is the only proxy closest to maritime, but maritime sector activities are beyond water transportation.”
Mr Yusuf added, “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 noted that key drivers of the contractions included continued inactivity of the country’s major refineries, insecurity hovering over the railway system, crude oil theft, vandalisation of oil facilities in the oil-producing areas, and an inclement operating environment for businesses.
The economic expert stressed that 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 tasked the government to address 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.