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Nigeria’s had the 29th largest economy in the world at the end of 2018, according to data from the latest IMFs World Economic Outlook (April 2019). A couple of things struck me as I went through the data (see chart).
For one, Nigeria is the only African country in the top 30, with South Africa coming in at a distant 35th.
Secondly is the fact that the West African country that gained independence from colonial rule as recently as 1960, has built a larger economy than Ireland ($381.5bn), Denmark ($349bn), Finland ($276bn), Czech Republic ($246bn), Greece ($219bn), New Zealand($210bn), and a host of other long established nations.
So is this a glass half full or glass half empty scenario?
It is impressive that Nigeria has managed to build a semi-modern economy that has made it to the top 30 in the world even with all the problems the nation confronts. However there are no illusions that a lot of work still needs to be done to double the size of the economy and improve the lives of millions of its citizens.
It’s probably a miracle that the country hasn’t gone the way of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural resources which has a GDP of just $48 billion.
On the other hand Nigeria could have with a little more hard work and discipline been closer to Indonesia (with a $1.1 trillion economy), especially considering both countries had similar structure of economies at independence.
The optimism that greeted Nigerian independence in 1960 soon vanished as the country fumbled into a needless Civil War that killed millions on both sides and disrupted the growth of the young nation, and made a mess of things generally, until … Read More...