On Sunday, Nigeria became Africa’s biggest economy jumping ahead of South Africa. With the rebasing of the government’s gross domestic product, the data indicated that the economy grew to $453 billion in 2012, instead of $264 billion as measured by the World Bank for that year, compared to South Africa’s which was at $384 billion in 2012. 

During a news conference, Nigeria’s chief statistician, Yemi Kale, said estimates could push the country towards  $510 billion.

“Nigeria has moved to be the largest economy by GDP size in Africa and has moved to be the 26th largest economy in the world,” finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

“On a per capita basis, Nigeria is number 121 in the world. So, we have a total GDP size where we have moved up to 26th,” the former World Bank managing director added.

Two of the biggest money makers in Nigeria include Nollywood and its ever expanding Cellular telephone market.

But who’s actually benefiting from the money in Nigeria? It’s obviously not the people who are trying to survive on $2 a day. 

Bismarck Rewane, the head of the Lagos-based Financial Derivatives Company said the exercise could only be meaningful “if it impacts positively on the living standards of the people”.

“Nigerians will still buy petrol at the same price, they will still have the same amount in their pockets, electricity is not going to improve on Monday morning,” he said.

“So, the exercise is a journey from reality to vanity,” he added.



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