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Nigeria is now Africa's Biggest Economy
Apr 11, 2014

Nigeria has surpassed South Africa as Africa's biggest economy, rebased gross domestic product (GDP) figures from authorities showed it. The biggest oil producer in Africa climbed to the 26th largest economy in the world.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and two other international financial institutions, World Bank, African Development Bank has endorsed Nigeria's new GDP figures. According to IMF, Nigeria's economic policies could be better and more correctly targeted based on the updated information.

Last year's rebased GDP of $509.9 billion surpassed South Africa's data as the continent's highest number. The new figures were released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The GDP index is the total value of a country's goods and services over a period of time. Rebasing is generally carried out every five years to give the most up-to-date picture. Nigeria's last figures were computed in 1999.

The new calculation includes previously uncounted industries like telecoms, information technology, music, online sales, airlines, and film production.

The rigorisity of the rebasing, adding on per capita bases, Nigeria's 2,688-dollar is number 121 in the world. The agriculture share in the GDP is declined from 33% to 22%, and the share of service sector rose from 26% to about 51%. Industry's share remained around 25-26%. Manufacturing moved from about 2% to almost 7% now, which is significant. And telecommunications moved from a very low number one to two per cent to about 8.7% now, while Nigerian film industry moved from nothing to about 1.2% now.

The higher GDP data of last year means Nigeria's growth looks will be slower this year, but it could also lower the country's debt to GDP ratio which now stands at 21%. 

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