Largest Africa economies need bigger rebound to cut joblessness

Osita Okechukwu

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday released statistics on the performance of the Nigerian economy in the second the second quarter of the year showing that Nigeria is officially out of recession.

It said quarter on quarter, real GDP growth was 3.23 per cent.

The second quarter data shows year-on-year GDP growth was 1.1%, and for the six months growth has been 1.1%.

Since emerging from the 2009 recession, South African growth has fallen short of the government's 5% target that economists say is needed to curb unemployment.

The South African economy is out of recession as agriculture, finance and mining lift gross domestic product (GDP).

Indeed, Nigeria owes the improvement to a boost in its oil and agricultural productions as well as a burst in its foreign exchange reserves, which should sustain its economic growth.

An economy is said to be in recession after contracting for two consecutive quarters. This means that South Africa has broken out of a technical recession. It contributed 0.7 of a percentage point to overall GDP growth.

He said: "For any economic recovery to be meaningful, it must positively impact on the lives of the people at the lower level".

Africa's largest economy shrank by 1.5 percent in 2016 for its first annual contraction in 25 years.

This growth was higher relative to growth recorded in Q2 2016 (3.01%).

The growth rate "is way below optimal", and insufficient to create more work for the 14.2% of Nigerians who want to work but can't find jobs, Financial Derivatives Co chief executive officer Bismarck Rewane said by phone from Lagos. Quarter-on-quarter, the oil sector grew by 7.52% in the Q2 2017.

Issoufou said he was in Nigeria to visit and to discuss some bilateral and regional issues with President Buhari, some of which included the fight against Boko Haram, the economic challenges in the Lake Chad Basin and other developmental concerns that directly affect the livelihood of the citizens of both countries.

Nigerian crude production slumped a year ago as militants attacked oil facilities, with an average output of 1.54 million barrels a day in the second quarter of 2016, according to OPEC figures.

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