Nigeria’s new status as Africa’s economic powerhouse is proof that Africa is on the rise, the ministry of finance said in a statement today. On Sunday Nigeria claimed the crown as the biggest economy in Africa overtaking South Africa. “The announcement gives concrete expression to the fact that Africa is indeed rising.” The ministry noted that South African firms have contributed to the growth of Nigeria’s wholesale and retail and the telecommunications sectors, which is also the two largest components of the services sector.
“This is a positive story of African countries contributing to re-shaping each others’ economies through increased investment.” It added that South Africa will continue to forge trade and investment ties with Nigeria and other African countries. The new data was released by the Nigeria’s national bureau of statistics office after a rebasing of its gross domestic product. The new calculations showed that the economy grew US$ 453bn in 2012 and expects a jump to US$ 509bn for 2013.
The debt to GDP ratio dropped by 8% from 19% to 11%. The services sector (50.91) makes up just over half of the country’s GPD, followed by industry (26.72) and then agriculture (22.40) It was the first time in 24 years that Nigeria rebased its GDP calculations.
“Rebasing reveals a more accurate estimate of the size and structure of the economy by incorporating new economic activities which were not previously captured in the computational framework”, said statistician general Yemi Kale in his presentation on the new figures. The statistics office said that Nigeria’s status as largest African economy is a positive development. “It should inspire us to work harder to make the economy work better for Nigerians.”