by Tunji Andrews
An ironic twist in Nigeria’s economic story has presented itself with Renaissance Capital’s report that flags manufacturing as the major driver of economic growth in Nigeria.
This is ironic because the country has been ridden with crippling power challenges that have historically been a key impediment to the development of manufacturing in the country. Apparently, the transformation agenda of the Federal Government is making a direct impact on manufacturing in Nigeria.
With Nigeria’s re-based GDP, according to the report, the manufacturing sector is currently growing faster than the telecommunication, oil and gas, and agricultural sectors. This corroborates recent releases from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria which indicated an increase in manufacturing capacity utilization from 46.3 percent recorded in the first half of 2013 to 52.7 percent in the second half of 2013.
Further information presented in the report notes that the growth was largely driven by the textile, cement and food sub‐sectors. Because of this growth, the manufacturing sector recorded 22 percent growth in 2013 all the way from 14 percent recorded in 2012. Overall this growth accounted for one-third of the total growth in the economy. This increase has been attributed to favourable government policies especially in industry, trade and investment.
A rather interesting development in the oil and gas sector, as contained in the report, shows that the sector contracted by 13 percent in 2013 leading to a decline in the growth of the sector. In addition to Manufacturing, the trade and real estate sectors also experienced a boost making them collectively the top three growth drivers in Nigeria today.