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Economy & Politics

Nigeria’s GDP grows by 1.87% in Q1 2020, as non-oil sector weakens

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.87%(year-on-year) in real terms, representing a drop of 0.23% points compared to Q1 2019 and 0.68% points decline compared to Q4 2019



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Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.87% (year-on-year) in real terms in Q1 2020. This is according to the first quarter (Q1) GDP report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday.

According to numbers contained in the Bureau’s report, the performance recorded in Q1 2020 represents a drop of 0.23% points compared to Q1 2019 (2.10%) and 0.68% points decline compared to Q4 2019 (2.55%), reflecting the earliest effects of disruption caused by Covid-19 pandemic and crash in oil price.

Oil sector

According to the report, Nigeria’s oil sector recorded a real growth rate of 5.06% (year-on-year) in Q1 2020, indicating an increase of 6.51% points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019 (-1.46%).

However, when compared to Q4 2019 which recorded a growth rate of 6.36%, oil sector growth decreased by –1.30% points. The contribution of the Oil sector to aggregate GDP stood at 9.50% in Q1 2020, up from figure recorded in the corresponding period of 2019 (9.22%) and the preceding quarter (7.32%), as the share of the non-oil economy declined.

During the first quarter of 2020, average daily oil production of 2.07 million barrels per day (mbpd) was recorded. The production level was higher than the 1.99mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2019.

READ ALSO: FG seeks partnership with National Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, here’s why 

Non-Oil Sector

The non-oil sector grew by 1.55% in real terms during the reference quarter (Q1 2020), this was slower by -0.93% points compared to the rate recorded during the same quarter of 2019 (2.47%), and –0.72% points slower than the fourth quarter of 2019 (2.26%).

According to the Bureau’s report, growth in the non-oil sector was driven mainly by Information and Communication (Telecommunications), Financial and Insurance (Financial Institutions), Agriculture (Crop Production), Mining and Quarrying (Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas), and Construction.

In real terms, the Non-Oil sector contributed 90.50% to the nation’s GDP in the first quarter of 2020, less than its share in the first quarter of 2019 which was 90.78% and the fourth quarter of 2019 recorded as 92.68%. Activities that witnessed weaker performance relative to Q1 2019 include Quarrying, Road transport, Accommodation and Food Services as well as real estate.

Service, Industry sectors remain resilient as economy posts slowest growth in 6-quarter

Nigeria’s service sector showed strong resilient in the period under review as it contributed 54.39% to the aggregate GDP, up from 53.64% recorded in Q4 2019. Also, the industrial sector recorded a marginal increase in its contribution to GDP at 23.65%, up from 22.25% in Q4 2019. Meanwhile, the contribution from agriculture sector contracted to 21.96% from 25.16% in the previous quarter. The contraction in the agricultural sector is largely traceable to the planting season.

A closer look at the GDP report shows that 1.87% growth recorded in Q1 2020 represents the slowest in the last 6 quarters (2018 Q4 – 2020 Q1). In Q4 2018, GDP growth rose to 2.38% as the economy continued its slow recovery from the 2016 recession.

The slow growth momentum had been sustained through the subsequent quarters until the latest contraction which is attributable to disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and oil price.

 The Bottom Line

GDP is Nigeria’s biggest economic data and it measures the monetary value of everything produced in the country. It depicts the nation’s total economic activity. A decline in GDP means major economic activities are slow or sluggish, which may be a result of several factors.

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  • It is important to note that while the Nigerian economy contracted slightly in Q1, growth in Q2 is expected to dip largely due to lockdown across major economies of the world which disrupted both supply and demand chain.
  • The Oil sector, Travel and Tourism, Hospitality and Manufacturing are among sectors expected to contract largely in subsequent through 2020
  • According to IMF, the Nigerian economy is expected to contract by -3.4% in the year, as Covid-19 pandemic and oil price shock exacerbate the vulnerability of Nigeria fiscal and monetary landscape.

READ ALSO: Foreign investors ship $21.14 billion to 22 States in 10-month 



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Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle



  1. Okwechime Ogor CFA

    May 27, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    The report reveals that the growth rate of the service sector declined from 2.6% in q4-2019 to 1.57% in the reference quarter. What is the basis for saying that the service sector remains resilient ???

    • Bamidele Samuel Adesoji

      May 27, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      Hi Okwechime, the resilience of the service sector addressed in the article was based on its contribution to GDP. On growth basis, of course it posted a slower growth.

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Economy & Politics

CBN extends Covid-19 forbearance for intervention loans by another 12 months

CBN will continue to charge an interest rate of 5% for its intervention loans for another 1 year.



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The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced an extension of its regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of its intervention facilities by another 12 months.

In a circular signed by Dr. Kevin Amugo, the Director of Financial Policy and Regulatory. the apex bank said it will continue to charge its borrowers an interest rate of 5% per annum as against the 9% originally offered. The CBN had on March 20th reduced the interest rates on its intervention loans from 9% to 5% as part of its response to the economic crunch brought on by Covid-19 induced lockdowns.

The CBN also offered to rollover moratorium granted on all principal payments on a case by case basis. All credit facilities had been granted a one-year moratorium starting from march 1, 2020 when the pandemic first gripped Nigeria.

READ: Analysing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Dollar Remittance Policy

See excerpt from Circular

“The Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the interest rates on the CBN intervention facilities from 9% to 5% per annum for one-year effective March 1, 2020, as part of measures to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Nigerian economy.”

Credit facilities, availed through participating banks and OFIs, were also granted a one-year moratorium on all principal payments with effect from March 1, 2020.

Following the expiration of the above timelines, the CBN hereby approves as follows:
1) The extension by another twelve (12) months to February 28, 2022 of the discounted interest rate for the CBN intervention facilities;

2) The roll-over of the moratorium on the above facilities shall be considered on a case by case basis.

READ: Nigeria attracts more FDI than FPI for the first time in 4 years

What this means

Companies who secured intervention funds from the CBN or through any of its on-lending banks will continue to service the loans at an interest rate of 5% per annum instead of 9%.

  • They can also get another year of not needing to pay back the principal sum collection. However, they will need to apply.
  • Whilst this move helps the small businesses continue to manage their cash flow, it means the CBN will record a reduction in its income extended under such facility.
  • Regulatory forbearance is a widely adopted concept during an economic crunch and it is meant to help stimulate businesses. These pronouncements if implemented will only affect those who borrow from the CBN or BOI but those who do not will miss out.
  • Download the circular here.

READ: CBN discloses conditions for assessing N100 billion credit facility, addresses ‘process problems’


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Economy & Politics

Senate endorses ex-Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors

The Senate has confirmed President Buhari’s nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors.



The Nigerian Senate has endorsed the nomination of the past serving Military Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors.

This was confirmed during Tuesday’s plenary session and announced in a social media statement by the Nigerian Senate.

Their confirmation follows the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chaired by Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa.

According to reports, the Senate Minority Leader Enyinaya Abaribe, however, questioned the nomination and confirmation of the ex-service chiefs when the Senate had on 3 different occasions called for their sack.

Senator Abaribe also raised issues on the petitions against the former service chiefs and questioned why they were dismissed without explanations.

But Senate President Ahmad Lawan dismissed Senator Abaribe’s concerns, ruling that the nomination of the former service chiefs cannot be nullified simply because the upper chamber had called for their sack, noting that this is totally a different assignment.

In his concluding statement, the Senate President, Senator Lawan added that these nominees that have just been confirmed have served this country to the best of their abilities. He appealed to the executive to make sure they use their experience as military men to the best.

“These nominees that we have just confirmed are nominees that have served this country to the best of their ability. Our appeal to the Executive is to make sure they use their experiences as military men to the best,” Lawan said.

Lawan, on behalf of the senate, wished them a very successful career in their capacity as Non-Career Ambassadors.

What you should know 

  • Recall Nairametrics reported earlier this month that President Muhammadu Buhari nominated ex-Service Chiefs for Senate approval as non-career Ambassadors-Designate.
  • Their appointment came barely a week after their retirement as service chiefs and their replacement with new ones.
  • This led to a spate of criticisms from some Nigerians who felt that the nation’s security situation got worse under their watch.
  • They were reported to have tendered their resignation from their positions amid heightened calls that they should be sacked due to the increasing rate of insecurity across the country.

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