By Sunday Aborisade
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.