The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday said that arrangement has been concluded to release the new Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the various sectors in the Nigerian economy.
The current GDP as at last year is $451 billion with Agriculture having 49 per cent, Services – 30 per cent, Manufacturing – 15 per cent and Oil – 14 per cent.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Minister of’ Information, Labaran Maku said that the new GDP figures will be released on Sunday at Transcorp Hotel in Abuja.
According to him, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala briefed the Council on the work done on the GDP by the Ministry of Finance, National Planning Commission, the Chief Statistician of the Federation and international bodies like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the last one year.
Noting that the last GDP figures were released fifteen years ago, he said that such figures need to be reassessed and released every five years in order to know which sectors are doing well and which ones have challenges.
“Also we received today briefing by the CME and Minister of Finance, that after nearly 15 years, that Nigeria is now ready to rebase its GDP after more than one year of hard work by the ministries of Finance and national planning, the Chief Statistician to the Federation and the international agencies like IMF, AfDB, IDB.
“You will recall that the last time that Nigeria issued new statistics and GDP figures was 15 years. And this is not supposed to be as we are supposed to be doing this every five years. Every country calibrates its own GDP data to show the progress made or challenges in their economy.
“Right now the FEC was briefed today that on Sunday at the Transcorps by 2 pm, Nigeria will formally release its GDP figures for the country which has just been worked by institutions in collaboration with international agencies, whose duties it is to work out GDP figures for the countries.
“So we hope that by Sunday, this new GDP figure will be released and the importance of this is that for the first time in 15 years, we will know scientifically what the new GDP figures are, the contributions of every sectors to the economy, we will be able to know the sectors that recorded the most progress and which ones are lagging behind.”
Continuing, he said: “We will also know a few economic sectors that have emerged in the last for 10 years which have not been captured properly in the last GDP figures. For example, the telecoms which emerged in the year 2000. We can know scientifically what the telecom sector has made on the Nigerian economy and GDP growth.
“Secondly, the Nollywood industry is another huge sector that has blossomed particularly in the last 10 years making significant contributions to job creation because we have not been able to know because we have rebased the GDP to really know scientifically how much impact it has made on the economy.”
“Without appropriate understanding of the GDP and the details of and how sectors are performing, it will affect policy. When the figures hopefully are released on Sunday we will then be able to analyse sector by sector and that will improve our budgetary planning, that will improve national planning, which sectors needed added attention.
“Even the ones that are doing well, what we do to keep them growing. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized. It will assure investors in some areas and in some others it will pose challenges,” he said
The Council meeting, which lasted for about 50 minutes, he said, was also briefed by the Health Ministry on the alleged Ebola virus in Nigeria.
According to him, there is no such virus in Nigeria, but that Nigeria is prepared to handle any the case if the virus is imported into the country from any of the affected West African countries.
Maku said: “The minister of health which detailed its reports on the alleged findings over the alleged break out of the Ebola fever in Nigeria. The minister of state for health clarified to council that following speculations in the media that Ebola fever was in Nigeria the ministry during the week under took quick checks to verify these reports and so far all the tests showed clearly that there is no Ebola fever in Nigeria.”
“Nigeria is prepared right now to curtail any outbreak particularly given reports that few counties on the west coast like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have reported cases of Ebola fever and given our proximity to these countries Nigeria is ready, the ministry has every precaution including getting vaccines and medicines to ensure that should there be any incidence in Nigeria everything would be dealt with with precision.”
“So far, there is nothing like Ebola fever in Nigeria and council was reassured that every step has been taken to ready our country just in case, infected persons come into the country from our neighboring countries which unfortunately have been reportedly affected.
“So citizens are reassured again that there is no Ebola fever in the country and and all the checks so far under taken declared clearly that we don’t have it, yes there are two or three west African countries the ministry has assured that should there be anything like that within our boundary it will be quickly tackled,” Maku added.