Non-oil Sector Driving Nigerian Economy, Says Finance Minister
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has said the Nigerian economy is currently being driven by the non-oil sector.
Ahmed said this when she led officials of her ministry to hold a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly on Monday evening over the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
In attendance were the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
The meeting, which started at 5:11pm and lasted till about 7:15pm, also had in attendance the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase; principal officers of both chambers, as well as heads of some revenue-generating agencies.
The minister said, “The growth of the Nigerian economy, we are pleased to say, is driven largely by the non-oil sector, which has risen to 0.79 per cent, masking the deterioration in the oil sector.
“The sectoral growth in the non-oil sector was primarily driven by telecoms and agriculture sectors as well as other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“Significant concerns still exist in the performance of trade, as well as transport sector which are still in a very strong negative growth.”
Ahmed said although the Nigerian economy experienced more revenue generation in 2020 from non-oil sectors, other sectors such as transport still remained in the negative.
She said, “The economy since then has sustained a tepid growth in the first quarter of 2021, with a growth of 0.51 percent consolidating our exit from recession in the fourth quarter.”
She recalled that Nigeria was able to make a quick exit from recession in the third quarter of 2020 despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.
According to her, this had an attendant “negative growth” on the Nigerian economy as a result of the significant and sudden drop in crude oil price in the international market.
The Senate President said the meeting was convened at the instance of the leadership of the National Assembly to deliberate on projections in the 2022-2024 MTEF/FSP.
He said the fiscal document was needed to facilitate the early presentation of the 2022 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari in September this year.
Lawan recalled the commitment of the ninth National Assembly towards the early passage of the nation’s annual budget.
He explained that the development was responsible for the 100 percent implementation of the 2020 Appropriations Act, which, according to him, would be achieved also in 2021.
He added that the interaction between the National Assembly and the Ministry of Finance would facilitate the early presentation of the 2022 Appropriations Bill in September this year.
He said, “We all recall how this ninth National Assembly committed itself ab initio to ensuring the passage of the Appropriations before the end of December of every year, to enable the implementation of the Appropriations Act to start January of every year.
“So far, we have achieved that in the 2020 budget and 2021 budget as well. This has significantly improved the implementation of the Appropriations Act, culminating in the 100 per cent implementation of the 2020 budget, and we are optimistic that the implementation of the 2021 budget would also achieve 100 per cent.
“The 2022 Appropriations Bill would be predicated on the MTEF/FSP 2022-2024. [And] it is very important that this interaction takes place so that the National Assembly is able to consider the MTEF in very good time to allow the Executive arm of government prepare the Appropriations Bill for 2022.”