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Maritime contribution to GDP under reported by NBS—CPPE

by Business News Report

Founder/CEO Centre for the promotion of private enterprise Dr. Muda Yusuf has said that Maritime sector contribution to Nigeria Gross Domestic product has been grossly under-reported. Commenting on the second quarter GDP report by the National Bureau of Statistics he said “The maritime sector of the economy is a very important sector in the international trade process, playing a very critical role in our import and export trade. It generates appreciable revenue and creates a lot of jobs. It is very critical to the supply chain of the Nigerian economy. There is evidently a gross under-reporting of the activities of the maritime sector by the National Bureau of Statistics. 

“For instance, in the Q2 GDP report, the maritime sector [water transport] was said to have contributed a mere N2.4 billion to the GDP out of N45.5 trillion GDP for the quarter. This is a contribution of a mere 0.01 per cent. In the first quarter of 2022, the NBS recorded 0 per cent contribution of the sector to GDP. In the GDP numbers, water transport is the only proxy closest to maritime. But maritime sector activities are beyond water transportation.We therefore appeal to the National Bureau of Statistics to engage with stakeholders in the maritime sector to ensure a proper capturing of the activities of the sector and the contributions of the sector to the national economy. The GDP figures over the years have been grossly under reporting the contribution of maritime to the national economy. This remedy on data quality is critical for planning and investment.

According to Muda some sectors of the economy are still in recession. He said “For sectors that are still in recession, namely, crude oil and gas, electricity and textiles sectors, the following policy options should be considered: Address the challenges of the massive oil theft which is affecting the oil output.  The safety of the oil facilities is also very paramount to reverse the under performance of the oil and gas sector. The implementation of the Petroleum industry Act would boost investment in the sector as well. The electricity sector reforms need a review to improve efficiency and productivity in the sector. The challenges in the electricity supply chain needs to be urgently addressed – gas to power, transmission, distribution, energy pricing, metering, and the capacity of the distribution companies.  All of these are needed to improve performance and attract more investment into the sector. Need to put fiscal incentives in place to boost investment in renewable energy in line with the energy mix objective of government.  Such incentives could be in the areas of tax incentives and the waivers of import duty on renewable energy equipment. There is an urgent need to decentralise the national grid for ease of management and efficiency.  

“There should also be a deliberate policy to attract private investment in the electricity grid. The textile sector is a victim of the current harsh business climate, especially for the real sector.  The key element is the high energy cost, forex illiquidity, currency depreciation and weak domestic patronage. The government should ensure that all uniforms of security agencies and other government institutions are produced from local textile fabrics.  Generic issues of high energy cost also need to be addressed. The rail system needs adequate security to rebound. Government needs to accelerate the security cover for the rail lines and the and the railway transportation system across the country. There should be an urgent engagement with investors in the auto assembly plants to identify the peculiar challenges facing them. But surely, better patronage of vehicles assembled in Nigeria would have a positive impact on the performance of these firms”.

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