Nigeria loses N158.9bn daily to strike-Investigation

THE PUNCH Newspaper

Nigeria is losing a whopping N158.93bn daily to the ongoing strike by the organised labour and Civil Society groups over the removal of petroleum subsidy, investigation has revealed.

The industrial action, which enters its third day today (Wednesday), has crippled economic activities in the country.

For instance, majority of banks, petroleum stations, manufacturing companies and the nation’s airports are currently closed for business.

Apart from the N158.93bn, some lives and properties have been lost across the country to the strike.

The figure is based on the projected Gross Domestic Product for the 2012 fiscal year as contained in the national budget.

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, had while appearing on a television programme on Tuesday to shed light on the economic benefits of the removal of petroleum subsidy, hinted that an analysis of the GDP would reveal the financial loss to the strike.

Sanusi, who appeared on the programme with the Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said the GDP was one of the most acceptable ways of computing the economic loss. He, however, did not give any figure.

A country’s GDP is a measure of activities that shows the productive capacity of all the sectors of the economy.

It is thus the value of all goods and services produced within the borders of that country over a given period.

President Goodluck Jonathan had on December 13, 2011, presented the 2012 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The N4.749tn fiscal document, which puts the estimated revenue at N3.644tn, leaves a deficit of N1.105tn or 2.77 per cent of the country’s GDP.

But an analysis of the budget done by our correspondent indicates that if the nation’s deficit of N1.105tn is 2.77 per cent of the GDP, it implies that the projected value of the GDP for the country in 2012 is N39.89tn.

There are 365 days in a year, made up of 251 working days and 124 work-free days (52 Saturdays, 52 Sundays, and 10 days of public holidays).

The public holidays are New Year’s day (January 1); Id-el-Maulud (February 26); Good Friday (April 2); May Day (May 1); Id-el-Fitri (September 12); National Day (October 1), Id-el-Kabir (November 18); Christmas Day (December 25) and Boxing Day (December 26).

The N158.93bn is arrived at when the GDP figure of N39.89tn is divided by the 251 working days in the year.

The Statistician-General of the National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Yemi Kale, had hinted in Abuja that in arriving at the GDP figure, data from 33 activities across three main sectors of agriculture, industry and services were collected.

For instance, the NBS boss had while giving out the GDP figure for the third quarter of 2011, said that in real terms, the country’s output grew by 7.4 per cent.

The 2011 third quarter GDP figure represents a decline of 0.46 per cent when compared to what was recorded in the corresponding period of 2010.

The fourth quarter GDP figure is currently being computed by the NBS.

Kale had said, “In real terms, the GDP in third quarter of 2011 grew by 7.40 per cent as against 7.86 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2010. The 0.46 per cent in growth is attributable to a decline in oil growth, which fell in real terms by 0.34 per cent in third quarter of 2011 as opposed to 5.08 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2010.

“Crude oil production with its associated gas component, for example, fell from 2.49 million barrels per day on average in the second quarter to 2.36 million barrels per day on average in third quarter of 2011.”


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