The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is still valid to measure economic progress of a nation.
GDP is a basic tool for measuring economic progress; it is an aggregate measure of economic activities in a country.
Dr Isiaka Olarewaju, Director in charge of real sector statistics and household statistics, NBS, said this in an interview with our reporter in Abuja on Monday.
He was reacting to the view of some experts that GDP alone could not be used to measure economic progress.
“GDP is one of the factors to determine the performance of the economy, there may be other factors, Human Development Index is there.
“There may be other means but that does not rule out the importance of GDP in determination of the economy of a nation.
“So, if other people are saying the methodology is wrong, we are not the one saying so.
“We are just to produce result based on fact that we have used; it is not us, NBS, that is saying that Nigeria’s economy is out of recession. It is the data that is saying so,’’ the official said.
The data released by NBS showed that the country’s GDP grew by 0.55 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of the year.
It noted that the recovery was driven, principally, by the performance of four main sectors: oil, agriculture, manufacturing and trade.
The bureau said the figure indicated that the economy was out of recession after five consecutive quarters of contraction since the first quarter of 2016.
According to Olarewaju, it is the data that is saying, so going from minus two (-2) to a value greater than zero means Nigeria is out of recession.
Olarewaju said that Nigeria’s economy used to grow around 5.0, 6.0 to 7.0 per cent per annum but that it suddenly went to minus two.
He said that the country was gradually moving out of that minus two to the path of going to where it was before.
“It is the interpretation of the statistics that leads us to say we are out of recession.’’
Olarewaju, however, said that the bureau would soon release the report of the Human Development Index survey.
“We are carrying out a survey now for the purpose of computation of Human Development Index for 2015 and the result will be out in three months.
“We normally conduct the survey, using two approaches – instantaneous estimation and documented estimation.
“The data you collect at household level is instantaneous estimation because you base your estimate on the time you collect the data.
“So, if I am asking any question at household level, the limit I can go backward cannot be more than one month, otherwise people will not understand what had happened.
“But when you are collecting economic data from established organisation that keeps record, you can ask for information at any time.
“So, the Human Development Index we are collecting now is going to be computed based on documented information from 2015 and 2016.’’