New sums make the Nigerian economy the biggest in Africa

THE NIGERIAN economy is nearly twice as large as official estimates previously suggested, making it Africa’s biggest, after a recalculation by the country’s statistical agency.

The exercise has pushed the west African nation’s calculation of nominal GDP in 2013 to 80.2 trillion Nigerian naira (£295bn), far higher than the previous estimate of 42.4 trillion naira. This new method, announced yesterday, means the country of 170m people is Africa’s largest economy, outstripping South Africa by £60bn, and is the 26th biggest in the world.

The country has changed its benchmark year for calculating GDP from 1990 to 2010, arguing that major changes to economic habits, along with the development of new sectors and the decline of others had made previous estimates obsolete.

The estimates suggest that while the previous GDP calculation slightly overvalued oil production, Nigeria’s manufacters more than six times as productive as previously suggested, and services nearly six times as large.