Nigeria officially announced that she had become the largest African economy on April 6th 2014.
As Nigeria accounts for about 16% of Africa’s total population, it is also Africa’s largest market. It is therefore no surprise that the country would occupy the foremost economic position in Africa.
According to official statistics the preponderance of Nigeria’s wealth is located in the agricultural sector.
The important sectors of Nigeria’s economy include industry, oil and gas…
and wholesale and retail.
Nigeria’s new economic position validates the hard work that people across Nigerian society continue to put into an economy that is the largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa.
According to UNCTAD, in 2011 Nigeria generated the fourth highest return on foreign direct investment globally. On avergae foreign investors made a 36% return on their investment.
Foreign investors and their local partners are making windfall profits out of the Nigerian economy.
However, the majority of Nigeria’s population is not faring as well. In 2013, Nigeria was ranked 153 (out of 186) on the UNDP’s Human Development Index.
Based upon new GDP calculations, current GDP per capita is around $2.938, which means that the average Nigerian is almost twice as well off as the average Indian, roughly equal to the average Moroccan, slightly less well off than a Swazi citizen and almost two and a half times worse off than an average South African.
Above all, Nigeria’s economic supremacy represents a large responsibility for the government. Not only in spearheading broad-based national development, by improving basic infrastructure. But also in showing economic leadership for the African continent as a whole.
To this end, the Nigerian government has started to make a concerted effort to boost domestic power generation capacity and more than doubled power generated in the space of 8 months, according to the Nigerian ministry of power.
Improving transportation links across the country is also another key ingredient in converting wealth into development.
Ultimately, improved infrastructre decreases the costs of bringing goods to market.
Furthermore, the mutually reinforcing relationship between development and security makes the issue of transforming economic clout into development all the more pressing for Nigeria.
Improving basic public services and amenities are a key part of these efforts.
There are several sectors of Nigeria’s economy with enormous growth potential, but ultimately realising Nigeria’s full economic potential will require improvements in security and infrastructure, as well as diminished corruption.