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Revised GDP goes into operation next year – NBS

By The Citizen
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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday said the country's rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would take effect from next year, barring any unforeseen contingencies.

The bureau also hinted that the GDP which is currently being revised, would capture 42 activities.

Currently, Nigeria's GDP, which is the computation of the total value of all final goods and services produced in the economy, is measured from 33 activities

The Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, stated this in Abuja at a stakeholders' sensitisation workshop on the GDP rebasing exercise.

Kale said the tentative data from rebasing the GDP would be ready by December 2013, while the final data would be released by 2014.

The country's GDP is currently being updated to capture changes that would have occurred within the economy in terms of size and structure since the year 1990, which is the current base year for the computation of the National Accounts Estimates.

To achieve this, Kale said there was the need to ensure the participation of relevant stakeholders in the entire process in order to instil a sense of ownership, transparency and acceptability of the rebased NAE.

He said the workshop represented a major milestone to achieving the rebasing process.

Kale said, 'Today's event is one of the many milestones we have to achieve in this process. Already, we have revised the classification of industries in the country according to the most up to date International Standard Industries' Classification.

'From a reporting framework, we used to report the GDP according to 33 activities. Now, we will be reporting for 42 activities. Secondly, we have almost completed our supply and use tables in the form of matrices that record how supplies of different kinds of goods and services originate from domestic industries and imports, and how those supplies are allocated between various intermediate or final uses, including exports.

'Thirdly, we are moving from the 1993 SNA to the 2008 and we are now at the last phase of this exercise to ensure that all technical issues are solved.'

Also speaking at the event, the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamduddeen Usman, said in 2012, the country recorded a nominal GDP of N41.2tn and ranked 36th globally, behind Malaysia and Singapore, but ahead of the Philippines and Finland.

He, however, regretted that while Nigeria's GDP growth rate had averaged seven per cent since 2004, poverty had only reduced by only two per cent during the same period.

This, he noted, had raised questions about the quality and sustainability of such growth.

Usman said, 'It is important, however, to clarify that the GDP growth is not synonymous with better human or social development.

'It is well recognised that there are limitations to the use of the GDP alone as a measure of welfare. For example, Nigeria's real GDP growth rate has averaged seven per cent since 2004, but poverty reduced by only two per cent during the same period, raising questions about the quality and sustainability of such growth.'

As a result of this, the minister said it was important that the nation's GDP estimates were as accurate as possible to capture historical changes and development over time.

This, he added, would help to appropriately depict the present realities that would be sufficient enough to serve as basis for future projections.

In his remarks at the workshop, the International Monetary Fund Senior Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Scott Rogers, said the effort to rebase the GDP would help the nation to have reliable data for effective planning and implementation of governments' policies at both the national and sub-national levels.

While commending the NBS for embarking on the initiative after several years, Rogers expressed optimism that the successful completion of the exercise would improve Nigeria's ratings in terms of economic opportunities.