By Joelbriggs001 • 12th Feb 2019 • 321 views • 73 comments

Nigeria ’s economy grew 1 .9 per cent in 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday , just days from an election in which the pace of growth is a campaign issue .

The NBS said gross domestic product also rose by 2 .38 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter in 2017 . Growth accelerated from the 1 .81 per cent expansion in the third quarter .

The government had targeted two per cent growth for last year to boost the fragile economy , which only emerged in 2017 from its first recession in over two decades, triggered by low crude prices and militant attacks on energy facilities .

Oil sales make up two- thirds of government revenue.

According to Bloomberg , the figures could help President Muhammadu Buhari to convince voters the economy is finally recovering more forcefully from the 2016 recession .

But economist Mark Bohlund said : “Buhari ’s four- year term has still seen the weakest growth in the living memory of a large share of the electorate .”

That could favour his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar , he added .

Buhari ’s administration is targeting three per cent growth in 2019, which is still only just above the 2 .6 per cent expansion rate of Nigeria ’s population .

The 76 - year -old former military ruler came to power in 2015 on a pledge to turn the economy around . He is facing a stiff challenge from businessman and former vice president Atiku Abubakar .

( AFP )

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