According to the Statistics Office, this increase has been driven mainly by the services sector which has accounted for nearly 50 percent of third quarter Gross Domesic Product (GDP). This represents an expansion of 7.61 percent in the three months to the end of September, compared to a growth rate of 9.08 percent in the same period of 2013.
It will be recalled that crude oil production fell from 2.26 million barrels a day to 2.15 million, leading to the finance minister calling for a lowering of the assumed benchmark oil price.
Supporters of this position argue that the price cut should be made in the 2015 budget at $73 a barrell; $5 down from the initial proposition made in September.
“The benchmark we proposed before now was not realistic,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister told journalists in Abuja.
“We think that for now, let us bring the benchmark price down to $73 then have a series of additional measures so that at each price it falls to, we would be able to kick in appropriate measures to keep this economy going,” she said.