Nigeria's gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 1.40 percent year-on-year in real terms in the third quarter of 2017, according to official data released this week.
A report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics, showed the second consecutive positive growth since the economy exited recession in the second quarter, with the oil, agriculture and industrial sectors leading the charge. The growth was 3.74 percentage points higher than the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016, which was -2.34 percent.
The rate was also 0.68 percentage points higher that that recorded in the preceding quarter, which was revised to 0.72 percent from 0.55 percent. Nigeria exited recession in September. It was the worst recession in more than two decades.
Reacting to the latest growth in GDP figures, the government on Monday described it as "a clear indication of the ongoing progress being recorded by the Nigerian economy."
A statement by Laolu Akande, a presidential spokesman, said the government was working to ensure inclusive growth and always committed through the active pursuit of a raft of policy initiatives. Economic adviser to Nigerian president Adeyemi Dipeolu said the GDP growth had reinforced the exit of the nation's economy from recession.
Nigeria's foreign exchange reserves, he noted, had risen to nearly 34 billion U.S. dollars while the stock market and purchasing managers' indices had also been positive. In addition, the exchange rate of country's local currency naira has stabilized while inflation has declined to 15.91 percent, from 18.7 in January 2017.
"While inflation is not declining as fast as desirable, it is approaching the estimated target of 15.74 percent for the year.
"Agricultural growth was 3.06 percent in the third quarter of 2017, maintaining the positive growth of the sector even when there was a slowdown in the rest of the economy," Dipeolu said, adding the industrial sector grew at 8.83 percent mostly due to mining and quarrying.
The sector of Nigeria's mainstay, oil, has been growing very strongly partly as a result of policy actions aimed to restore growth in the sector. The presidential adviser said the service sector was yet to recover but should soon begin to be positively affected by the improvements in the real economy and the effects of the dedicated and focused capital spending on infrastructure by the government.
The overall picture that emerges is that the economy is on the path of recovery, he said. As inflation goes down, and with the steady implementation of the government's economic growth plan, real growth may soon be realized across all sectors in a mutually reinforcing manner, observers say.