GDP rises faster in third quarter

Nigeria’s economic growth quickened in the third quarter as the oil industry’s contraction eased and agricultural output increased, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement yesterday. Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 6.81 percent on an annual basis, the fastest pace this year, compared with 6.18 percent in the second quarter. While disruptions to Nigerian oil exports continued, daily average crude oil production rose to 2.26 million barrels from 2.11 million barrels in the previous quarter. Crude output declined from 2.52 million barrels a day in the third quarter of 2012. “Supply disruptions continue to hamper output in the oil sector,” the statistics bureau said. The oil and natural gas industry shrank 0.53 percent in the third quarter, compared with a 1.15 percent slump in the second quarter, while agricultural output rose 5.08 percent year on year from 4.52 percent. – Bloomberg

Oil refineries to be privatised

Nigeria planned to begin privatising its four state-owned oil refineries before the end of the first quarter of next year, Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke said over the weekend. “We would like to see major infrastructural entities such as refineries moving out of government hands into the private sector,” Alison-Madueke said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Africa in London. “Government does not want to be in the business of running major infrastructure entities and we haven’t done a very good job at it over all these years.” A presidential audit of the facilities last year recommended their sale due to inadequate government funding and “sub-optimal performance”. The refineries, which have a combined 445 000 barrel-a-day capacity, should be privatised within 18 months, according to a report submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan in November last year. – Bloomberg