The director general of the Center for the Promotion of Private Enterprises, Muda Yusuf, claimed that the National Bureau of Statistics was under-reporting the rate of economic activities that occurred in the maritime sector.
He also argued that despite Nigeria’s exit from recession, many critical sectors have not escaped it.
Nigeria’s economy grew by 3.4% in the first half of 2022, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
The CPPE boss named critical sectors in recession to include crude oil and gas, petroleum refining; textiles; electric, gas and steam engines.
Yusuf, the former CEO of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said this in reaction to the Nigeria GDP report that was sent to THE WHISTLER.
In 2020, the Nigerian economy entered its second recession since 2016.
The economy entered recession in the third quarter of 2020 with a decline of 3.6%, after contracting 6.1% in the second quarter.
But the economy rebounded less than a year later with GDP growth of 0.11% in the fourth quarter.
Yusuf said, “Notwithstanding that the Nigerian economy has been out of recession since the fourth quarter of 2020, the following sectors are still in recession: crude oil and gas, petroleum refining; textiles; electric, gas and steam engines.
“Many companies are struggling to cope with the many economic challenges and shocks. Socially, citizens are also experiencing severe economic hardship due to rampant inflation and the impact on purchasing power.
The Minister of State for Oil, Timipre Sylva, said that 400,000 barrels of Nigerian oil are stolen daily.
NNPC Group CEO Mallam Mele Kyari estimated the loss at $1.9 billion per month.
The national grid also collapsed more than six times in 2022, worsening the electricity crisis.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had asked distribution companies to increase transmission and distribution to an average of 5,000 MW of electricity per day from July 1, 2022.
But the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the 11 DisCos have struggled to transmit and distribute 4,000 MW since the directive was issued.
“Addressing the challenges of massive oil theft affecting oil production. The safety of oil facilities is also paramount to reversing the underperformance of the oil and gas sector. Implementation of the Petroleum Industry Law would also boost investment in the sector.
“Electricity sector reforms need to be reviewed to improve sector efficiency and productivity. Electricity supply chain challenges urgently need to be addressed: from gas to electricity, transmission, distribution, energy pricing, metering and the capacity of distribution companies. All of these are necessary to improve performance and attract more investment to the sector,” he added.
Yusuf lamented that the maritime sector, which is a very important sector in the process of international trade, playing a very critical role in import and export trade, is grossly under-reported by the NBS.
He said: “There is clearly gross under-reporting of maritime sector activities by the National Bureau of Statistics. For example, in the Q2 GDP report, the maritime sector [water transport] would have contributed a mere 2.4 billion naira to GDP out of a GDP of 45.5 billion naira for the quarter.
“In the GDP figures, water transport is the only indicator closest to maritime. But the activities of the maritime sector go beyond water transport.
The DG of the CPPE called on the Bureau to engage with maritime sector stakeholders to ensure proper consideration of the sector’s activities and the sector’s contributions to the national economy.
He added: “GDP figures over the years have grossly understated the contribution of shipping to the national economy. This data quality remedy is essential for planning and investment.