The Guardian: Nigeria’s economy still undervalued despite rating

A NUMBER of  vibrant sectors in the economy may  not  have been fully captured especially in the small and medium scale business levels of the economy in the process of rebasing.

Speaking exclusively with The Guardian in Abuja, Head,Real Sector and Households Statistics, National Bureau of Statistics(NBS),  Isiaka Olarewaju,   explained that  emerging feed backs from recent rebasing recently carried out,showed that a number of small and medium scale business levels were not captured.

According to him, “It will surprise you to know that since the last rebasing exercise, the NBS has not rested on its oars. We have continued to monitor developments in and around our economy and have discovered that a number of sectors which contribute significantly to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) have not been captured. So what that means is that in the subsequent exercise, Nigeria’s GDP figures will increase ,based on new additions to the mainstream which have already been captured” .

Nigeria’s economy had remained unmeasured in the 23 years, until it was rebased in April to fall in line with the United Nations Statistical Commission’s programming known as System of National Accounts(SNA). The commission stipulates that all countries of the world must carry out rebasing of their economy once in every five years.

According to Olarewaju who described rebasing as the updating of Gross Domestic Product using statistical data, the bureau has opted for base year estimates, which entails constant valuation of the economy to identify growth or drop in any sector of the economy. This he said will help the country in understanding the status of of the economy rather than waiting for the next five years to analyze trends.

He pointed out that GDP is calculated as value added outcomes of production of goods and services in all areas of the economy. But in order to analyze one year’s worth with another, to see whether their is growth or not, a base year estimates is compiled to show the way forward.

Olarewaju said that one of the advantages of recapturing areas not hitherto known is to help government have access to accurate data, and to guide policy makers on decisions that would help them plan better for all citizens of the country.

On why the increasing growth in the economy cannot be equated directly to individual economic wealth, he said that the exercise covers broader measurement of human progress, to measuring  output growth which tends to concentrate on economic growth. He said however that with better planning, resources would be well distributed and many more lives enhanced by government deliberate policies for growth.

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