Nigeria’s telecom sector triumphs Covid-19 to record double digit growth

NIGERIA – Nigeria’s telecommunication sector has proven to be the most resilient sector of the economy, recording a double-digit growth of 18.1% despite operating in a difficult working environment occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is according to the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

According to the GDP report, the telecommunication sector grew by 18.1% in real terms during the second quarter of 2020, compared to 11.34% recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

The sector performance was also significantly greater when compared to the marginal growth of  9.71% achieved in the first quarter of the year.

Nigeria has been grappling with a raging COVID-19 pandemic which forced the federal government to impose lockdown and as a result significantly disrupting the country’s economy in the second quarter of 2020.

However, the telecommunication sector came out resilient, driven by increased demand for data usage and growth in the number of mobile subscribers.

Broadly, the Information and Communication sector is comprised of the four activities of Telecommunications and Information Services, Publishing, Motion Picture, Sound Recording, and Music Production; and Broadcasting.

Information and Communication (ICT), as a broad sector, grew by 15.1% and contributed 17.87% to the total value of real GDP (N15.9 trillion) in the quarter.

In Q2 2020, the telecommunication sector grew by 18.1% year-on-year, while it grew by 24.8% quarter-on-quarter. 

According to a report by Nairametrics this is the biggest growth ever recorded by the telecom sector since Q4 2018, when the telecom sector posted a GDP growth of 19%.

The growth in the telecommunication sector was however not replicated in other sectors of the West African economy, which happens to be the largest in the continent.

The agriculture sector for instance slowed, while manufacturing, trade, and others critical sectors shrunk

Nigeria’s agricultural sector slowed down in Q2 2020, with a growth of 1.58% growth (year-on-year), from 1.7% in Q2 2019 and 2.2% in the previous quarter (Q1 2020). 

Nigeria’s manufacturing sector continued its contraction for the fourth quarter in a row, recording a contraction of 8.78% which was significantly worse than the 0.13% contraction recorded in the first quarter of the year.

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