After more than two decades of the same old based economy, Nigeria has successfully completed ‘rebasing’ its economy. This has resulted in it surpassing South Africa has the continent’s largest economy as the new calculations have increased its gross domestic product twice over to more than $500bn. Reasons for this are mainly because the last time the economy was rebased was in 1990, meaning modern industries such as the powerhouse of Nollywood, telecommunications and e-commerce –among others- were excluded from the calculations until now. Besides becoming the number one economy in Africa, Nigeria is now the 24th largest economy in the world ahead of Argentina and Iran, and at par with Poland and Belgium.
After reading that last sentence you must be wondering how this is all possible. How can Nigeria a country that is plagued with corruption, political instability and poor infrastructure at par with Poland and Belgium? In terms of GDP (nominal) they are but when it comes to GDP per capita -according to the International Monetary Fund- Nigeria manages $2,697 while Belgium’s GDP per capita is at $37,881. Secondly a lot of revenue that the government collects comes from exporting its oil globally which puts it in precarious position because of the erratic nature of the crude oil prices in the global market.
Now after reading that last paragraph you must be even more confused! What does it all mean? What are the implications? Once the news came from the National Bureau of Statistics that the country’s GDP had grown many Nigerians shrugged the news off, as this had no effect on them directly. Growth in terms of GDP doesn’t always mean that this growth is translated into development, inequality is not decreasing. All this withstanding this is still good news, amazing news even! This is simply because of the undeniable fact that this will continue to attract the already growing foreign direct investment into Nigeria, as well as contribute to provide more opportunities for the local population. The inclusion of the modern industries could possibly mean increased investment by the government to create even more employment opportunities. Nigeria has birthed some of the most innovative entrepreneurs and businesses that Africa holds dear and these will be the people to take their country to the next level, these will be the people to raise that GDP per capita income!
Nigeria still has a long way to go, that fact is not debatable but its recent GDP growth must be commended either way. As the wise Plato said “Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” Congratulations Nigeria!!
Photo Credits: The Guardian