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Nigeria  becomes the 26th largest economy in the world as it has re-based its nominal gross domestic product (GDP), with estimates from $285.56 billion to $509.9 billion. The new nominal GDP places Nigeria ahead of countries like Austria with $394.7 billion, Venezuela with $381.26 billion, Columbia with $369.6 billion, Thailand with $365.96 billion, Malaysia with $274.7 billion  and Singapore with $269.87 billion. Nigeria has also emerged Africa’s biggest economy by recording an 89.22% growth in its GDP in 2013 making South Africa the continent’s second largest economy with a GDP of $384.3 billion. Nigeria’s re-based figure was released in Abuja yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The re-basing shows a significant change in the structure of the country’s GDP. It indicated that the services sector, comprising of financial institutions, information and communications, real estate, professional, scientific, technical services and trade now contribute about 52% of the total GDP with industry coming a distant second at about 25.7%. Other contributing sectors are Agriculture (22%), Telecommunications (8.69%), Manufacturing (6.83%) and Entertainment (1.42%) The Statistician-General of the Federation, Mr. Yemi Kale said that the previously excluded sectors like telecommunications and information services, publishing, motion picture, sound recording, music production and broadcasting are now accommodated in the latest result. He added that the informal sector of the economy, which had been fairly accommodated, could contribute as much as 55 per cent of GDP. “Over the period, the economy is expected to grow by an average of 6.39 per cent. The services sector is expected to grow the fastest during this period, increasing by an average of 7.72 per cent. This is followed by industry that is expected to by 7.19 per cent. The agricultural sector is expected to grow by an average of 2.61 per cent during the period.” At a press conference on Sunday in Abuja titled, “Rebasing/Re-benchmarking of Nigeria’s GDP”, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Coordinating Minister for Economy and Minister of Finance stated, “We did not set out to become the biggest economy in Africa. We set out to measure how much the economy has changed. And that is the outcome. Becoming the largest economy on the continent is a positive development, but it is not destination. The knowledge derived will help us make better policies to grow the economy and create jobs for young Nigerians,” the minister said. According to her, Nigerians have worked hard to make their economy the largest in Africa, and they should be proud of the feat, but it is also a challenge and an opportunity. She said the results of the re-basing would not make the challenges of poverty and unemployment disappear overnight, adding that it was imperative to policy making. Okonjo-Iweala said GDP estimates would also help Nigerians particularly policy makers to have better understanding of the structure and changes of the economy and serve as better tools to grow the economy. The Supervising Minister of the National Planning Commission, Mr Bashir Yuguda, emphasized the credibility of the re-basing exercise, which he said was rigorously and professionally executed by a team of local and international experts. “It is a thorough job and we are pleased with the results. The results will empower government to do more for the Nigerian people.” Featured image source:

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This article was first published on 7th April 2014 and updated on November 11th, 2019 at 10:06 am

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