Nigeria’s telecommunication sector has proven to be one of the biggest gainers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector recorded an 18.10% growth in Q2 2020. This is according to the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
According to the GDP report, the telecommunication sector grew by 18.1% in real terms during the second quarter of 2020, compared to 11.34% recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019, and 9.71% in the previous quarter (Q1 2020).
The COVID-19 induced lockdown significantly disrupted the Nigerian economy in the second quarter of 2020. However, the telecommunication sector came out resilient, driven by increased demand for data usage and growth in the number of mobile subscribers.
Nigeria’s telecom sector posts biggest growth in 6 quarters
Broadly, the Information and Communication sector is comprised of the four activities of Telecommunications and Information Services, Publishing, Motion Picture, Sound Recording, and Music Production; and Broadcasting.
Information and Communication (ICT), as a broad sector, grew by 15.1% and contributed 17.87% to the total value of real GDP (N15.9 trillion) in the quarter.
In Q2 2020, the telecommunication sector grew by 18.1% year-on-year, while it grew by 24.8% quarter-on-quarter. This is the biggest growth the telecom sector would record since Q4 2018, when the telecom sector posted a GDP growth of c.19%.
Meanwhile, the agric sector slowed, while manufacturing, trade, and others shrunk
Nigeria’s agricultural sector slowed down in Q2 2020, with a growth of 1.58% growth (year-on-year), from 1.7% in Q2 2019 and 2.2% in the previous quarter (Q1 2020).
The report showed that other critical sectors of the economy such as manufacturing, transportation, construction, accommodation and food service, education, real estate, and trade also recorded significant contractions in the quarter under review. See the indicators below:
- Nigeria’s Manufacturing sector contracted by 8.78% in Q2 2020, from -0.13% and 0.43 recorded in Q2 2019 and Q1 2020.
- Oil refining, a component of the manufacturing sector, dipped by 67.7% (year-on-year).
- Transportation and storage sector contracted in real terms by 49.23% (year-on-year).
- Accommodation and food services contracted by 40.19%.
- Construction sector shrinks by 31.8%.
- Education sector down by 24.1%.
- Other sectors with significant contractions include; Real Estate (21.99%), Trade (16.59%), Professional & Technical services (15.41%), other services (15.07%).
The Nigerian economy, during the quarter, witnessed the ripple effects of the twin shocks — weakened global oil price which led to a decline in Nigeria’s oil revenue, and the COVID-19 induced lockdown which almost grounded the economy to a standstill.
The telecom sector has remained resilient amid the COVID-19 pandemic given the surge in the demand for data usage and increase in total mobile subscribers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations are adjusting to digital workspace, a new normal which is expected to increase data services, and further enhances growth in the sector in the short to medium term
While most sectors recorded negative growth in Q2, the trend may subsist in subsequent quarters of the year as concerns about emergence of second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic may distort the recovery trajectory of critical sectors
Emefiele tells economists to stop “overdramatizing” analysis that can create Panic
CBN has assured that the nation’s economy will emerge out of recession in the first quarter of 2021.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has assured that the nation’s economy will grow by 2% in 2021. The apex bank is optimistic that its various intervention will make Nigeria emerge out of recession in the first quarter of 2021.
This was disclosed by the Governor, CBN, Godwin Emefiele while delivering his keynote address at the 55th Annual Bankers Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos on Friday.
What he is saying
He said, “We expect that growth in 2021 would attain 2.0 percent. It is important to insulate the economy from shocks that may undermine the attainment of the projected 2.0 percent economic growth.
“However, downside risks remain, as restoration of full economic activities, particularly in service-related sectors, remains uncertain until a COVID vaccine is produced and made available to millions of people across the world.
“Second, with the significant rise in cases in advanced markets and the imposition of lockdowns in parts of Europe, concerns remain on the impact this could have on growth in advanced economies, commodity prices and the financial markets.”
He emphasized on the need to find ways to insulate the economy from the impact of these shocks through diversification efforts, while also working to ensure that the nation adheres to safety protocols in order to prevent a surge in COVID-19 related cases, as this could further cripple economic activities.
Stop overdramatizing analysis
Emefiele appealed to economic analysts to stay clear from analysis that can create panic and thus hamper the economic recovery process. “When you overdramatized you create panic in the system and that slows down the process of recovery.
“Our actions in 2021 would be guided by the considerations that emerged from the Monetary Policy Committee meeting of November 23 & 24, 2020, which sought to address the major headwinds exerting downward pressure on output growth and upward pressure on domestic prices,” he added.
Mr. Emefiele has often accused “armchair” economists of making exaggerated comments when expressing their views on the economy.
Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website
55th Annual Bankers Dinner https://t.co/WROvaYq8Cg
— Central Bank of Nigeria (@cenbank) November 27, 2020
What you need to know
On November 23, 2020, Nairametrics reported that the Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said the country will exit recession by the first quarter of 2021 as the government is working towards reversing the declining economic trend in the country.
- The Finance Minister said the COVID-19-induced recession followed the pattern across the world, where many countries had entered an economic recession.
Nigeria edges closer to getting World Bank loan, in the final stages of talk
The Finance Minister has disclosed that Nigeria has fulfilled the conditions and is in the last stages of securing a World Bank loan.
Nigeria is set to achieve its plans of getting the $1.5 billion World Bank loan package as it is in the closing stages of the deal following its fulfilment of the conditions set by the international multilateral organization.
This disclosure was made by the Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, during an interview on Friday, November 27, 2020, with Bloomberg Television.
While pointing out that Nigeria’s senate approved the borrowing plan from the World Bank in June, Ahmed said the board of the multilateral institution will discuss the loan package at their next meeting.
What you should know
It can be recalled that the World Bank loan which had been sought by Nigeria in the wake of the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, was being delayed by the Brettonwood institution due to concerns over reforms as it feels that Nigeria has not shown enough commitment towards achieving them.
Some of the reforms include the unification and flexibility of the exchange rate, removal of fuel subsidy, increase in electricity tariffs amongst others.
However, it seems that with the recent deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry with the attendant removal of fuel subsidy and increase in electricity tariff, some of those concerns of the World Bank are gradually being sorted out.
Ahmed also said that Nigeria is considering joining the G-20 debt-relief initiative and is talking to commercial lenders to secure their backing.
She said, “We will consider joining as long as it is safe for us to do so. Nigeria couldn’t participate initially because some of the conditions were unfavourable for existing loan commitments with bilateral lenders and other international borrowings.”
On the increased gap between the official rate and parallel market rate, the minister said the government is concerned about the widening gap in the naira’s exchange rate on the official and parallel markets.
She said, “We have been taking measures to close the gap. We hope to get to an even level very soon so the impact of the exchange rate will become moderated.”
Nigeria generates N416.01 billion from Company Income Tax in Q3 2020
Total company income tax generated increased by 3.48% in Q3 2020, compared to N402.03 billion recorded in Q2 2020.
Nigeria generated the sum of N416.01 billion from Company Income Tax (CIT) in the third quarter of 2020. This was revealed in the Company Income Tax by Sectors report, recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to the report, the total CIT generated increased by 3.48% in Q3 2020, compared to N402.03 billion recorded in the previous quarter (Q2 2020). It reduced by 20.13% compared to N520.89 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter (Q3) of 2019.
- Company income tax generated year-to-date sums up to N1.11 trillion as against N1.26 trillion in the comparable period of 2019.
- Professional Services including Telecoms generated the highest amount of CIT with N55.52 billion generated, closely followed by Other Manufacturing with N42.03 billion.
- Banks & Financial Institutions generated a sum of N24.05 billion.
- Mining generated the least, closely followed by Textile and Garment Industry and Local Government Councils with N120.93 million, N167.51 million, and N321.72 million generated respectively.
Out of the total amount generated in Q3 2020, N244.70 billion was generated as CIT locally, while N70.34 billion was generated as foreign CIT payment. The balance of N100.97 billion was generated as income taxes from other payments.
Automobiles and Assemblies grows CIT by 994%
In terms of sectors with the highest increase in company income tax remittances, the Automobiles and Assemblies sector grew its CIT by 994%, from N81.6 million in Q2 2020 to N892.7 million. It was closely followed by the Gas sector, which grew its CIT by 626% to stand at N4.76 billion from N655.5 million.
On the flip side, transport and haulage services recorded the highest decline in company income tax, as it reduced by 76% to stand at N7.35 billion from N31.1 billion. This is closely followed by Banks and financial institutions, which declined by 51% to stand at N24.1 billion.
The rise in company income tax is an indication of the Nigerian government’s move to improve the generation of revenue from the fiscal side as against oil exportation. However, the halt in economic activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the year-on-year decline in company income tax.