Nigeria yesterday, April 6th, 2014 became Africa’s biggest economy after the government rebased it’s Gross Domestic Product. The last time the exercise was carried out was 24 years ago. Data taken into account now include changes in production and consumption, communications and the Nigerian movie industry. The rebased nominal GDP for 2013 was put at N80.22tn ($510bn) while that of South Africa which used to be in the lead is N60.7tn ($370.3bn). The country has now overtaken South Africa to become the largest economy in the continent of Africa and 26th globally.
Finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala announced in a statement, “Nigeria has moved to be the largest economy by GDP size in Africa and has moved to be the 26th largest economy in the world. On a per capita basis, Nigeria is number 121 in the world. So, we have a total GDP size where we have moved up to 26th. The rebased GDP numbers imply that the level of economic activity is much higher than previously reported. “It indicates a clearer picture of Nigeria’s economic landscape, and the significant opportunity for growth and wealth creation in the Nigerian economy.”
Economist Dennis Dykes, at South Africa’s Nedbank stated that Nigeria’s new position should be viewed positively adding that it should be a great confidence booster. “It’s important that economies were measured accurately…it gives potential investors a good picture of activity. The news figures should help South African investors identify new opportunities in Nigeria, especially in areas that were previously not factored in. Being Africa’s number one is definitely a great confidence booster for Nigeria, but it won’t change much,” he added.