Economy still in bad shape as GDP growth grinds to 1.94%

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• Experts caution against subsidy, overdependence on oil

The nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) lost steam in the second quarter (Q2) of 2019, against expectations and assurances of improved numbers based on acclaimed investments in the economy by the government.Year-on-year, the growth slowed to 1.94 per cent between April and June, compared with the 2.1 per cent recorded in the first quarter, losing 0.16 per cent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said yesterday.

The development shows that the country’s economy has remained weak in its struggle to overcome the effects of the 2016 recession, after two years it exited the doldrums, creating doubts about government’s growth forecast of three per cent in 2019.Besides, the level of progress the nation has made in breaking away from the shackles of over-reliance on oil has remained questionable for many, with even the International Monetary Fund still urging the nation to diversify its revenue base.

Despite the 5.15 per cent expansion witnessed in the oil sector and the non-oil sector growth by 1.64 per cent, Nigeria’s major foreign exchange earner- crude oil- faltered, with production at 1.98 million barrels per day against 1.99 million in the previous quarter.