Nigeria has overtaken South Africa as Africa’s largest economy, figures from Nigeria’s Bureau of Statistics showed yesterday.
The Bureau of Statistics has reported that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this West African nation of 170 million people and Africa’s biggest oil producer reached 80.22 trillion naira (US$509.9 billion) in 2013, up from the 42.3 trillion estimated before the rebased calculation.
This makes the Nigerian economy approximately 60% bigger than South Africa’s and the 26th biggest economy in the world, up from 33rd before the rebasing.
Charles Brewer, MD for DHL Express sub-Saharan Africa, has reacted to this newly-acquired status, saying that his company has long seen the potential in Nigeria’s economy since launching its first Africa office in Nigeria in 1978.
“The growing global interest in Africa as a destination for investment is well documented, due to Africa being home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies,” he said.
“Investor interest in Nigeria has particularly peaked over the years as sectors in the country have diversified due to the growing consumer market and rising middle class.”
The rebasing GDP data calculation, which hadn’t been amended since 1990, now factor in industry sectors such oil and gas, finance, retail, telecommunications, as well as its rapidly growing film industry Nollywood, the company added.
Nigeria is now Africa’s biggest economy. Photo by Business Day