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Here’re the ten best performing sectors of the economy in 2019

The economy in the last three months of 2019 grew by the fastest in 17 quarters to see annual growth beat expectations, although slow-recovery from the 2016 recession remained the theme.

GDP, still growing below population growth rate at 2.6 percent, rose 2.55 percent in the Q4 to boost annual growth to 2.27 percent. The following sectors were among the best performers.

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Air Transport

Air transport grew 13.17 percent year-on-year in 2019 to emerge the fastest expanding sector.

The growth, though below the 20.70 percent recorded last year, followed a steady increase through Q1-Q3 (9.09%, 12.31% and 15.23%) before a decline in the last quarter to 14.98 percent.

Coal Mining

A brilliant first quarter and third quarter for coal mining was enough to offset the impact of a contraction in the last quarter of the year and push sector’s growth 13.15 percent higher year-on-year. In 2019, coal mining was the second-fastest expanding sector in Nigeria.

Interestingly, the sector had contracted by almost 6 percent in 2018.

Telecommunications & Information Services

It might have been an anti-climactic year for the ICT services sector but it emerged the third best performing sector in the year, marginally surpassing its 2018 growth rate. (11.41% vs 11.33%).

Read also: Human capacity development in Nigeria’s transportation sector

Road Transport

Road Transport was the fourth fastest-growing sector in Nigeria last year after a brilliant 21.48 percent in the first quarter of the year.

Road Transport grew 11.24 percent year-on-year in 2019 although it shrunk 2.58 percent in the final quarter of the year.

Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation

This sector was the fifth fastest-growing last year with after growth printed at 4.59 percent year-on-year compared to a measly 0.97 percent in 2018.

Although the sector started the year with a contraction, growth picked up in Q2, eased in the third quarter and was more-or-less maintained in the last quarter of the year.

Arts, Entertainment and Recreation

Growth rose impressively from 2.53 percent in 2018 to 4.12percent last year.

Arts, Entertainment and Recreation started the year on steroids but quickly lost momentum in Q2 afterwards recovering in the latter quarters of the year.


The insurance industry rose 3.59 percent to end 2019 the 7th best performing sector in terms of growth.  The sector however grew below its 2018 rate of 6.12 percent.


Fishing grew 3.33 percent year-on-year in 2019 following a brilliant Q1 that supported growth in the year. Compared to 2018’s 1.64 percent growth, 2019 is nothing short of a leap.


At 3.11 percent the cement industry is at least growing faster than the broader economy. Q3 was the best quarter for the sector last year while growth slowed compared to 2018 (4.5%).

Accommodation and Food Services

The Accommodation and Food services sector picked up from 2018, growing at

2.85 percent last year to be the 10th fastest growing sector in the economy. Growth peaked in Q1 and averaged 2.41 percent for the remaining quarters.

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