The long game

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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...

Moving Nigeria from poverty to wealth: Why faster growth rates matter

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Nigeria’s economy would probably expand 2.5 percent in 2019, according to consensus estimates. The Federal Government expects growth will be even stronger going by its 2.7 percent target. However, both estimates are hardly enough to cheer because it means the economy will grow at a rate too little to absorb a rapidly growing population this…

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