Nigeria ranked amongst world’s poorest competitive countries

Ngozi Okonjo Iweala 1

Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

05 September 2013, Lagos – Despite the efforts to diversify the Nigerian economy and attract investors by the Jonathan administration, Nigeria is still ranked among the stragglers in the Global Competitive Index, GCI, 2013 -2014 released Wednesday by the World Economic Forum.

Nigeria dropped five places from last year’s 115th position to 120th among the 148 countries profiled.

The GCI, which was introduced in 2004, measures how the set of institutions, policies, and other factors determine the level of productivity of a country. The GCI scores is calculated by drawing together the 12 pillars of competitiveness namely: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.

According to the ranking, Nigeria is placed in the poorest pool of economic development possible. Nigeria ranked as a “factor driven” economy with the likes of Liberia, Lao, Mali and Yemen.

There are four stages of development with innovation-driven economies being the best pool of nations.

It worries the compilers of the index that Nigeria’s economy is struggling to keep up despite overt advantages over other African countries. For instance, the report noted that Nigeria, due to its population, enjoys a large market size (32ndposition) “which has the potential for significant economies of scale and is an important factor for attracting investors.”

It identifies weak institutions (ranked at 129th out of 148), engrained corruption, undue influence, weakly protected property rights, insecurity (ranked at 142nd), poor infrastructure (ranked at 135th) and poor primary education (ranked at 146th) as the reasons for the country’s abysmal rating.

It also points to the overreliance on oil and the poor penetration of ICT as the other reasons for the country’s poor showing.

Meanwhile Mauritius has overtaken South Africa as the most competitive country in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ranked at 45th position the country moved up nine places this year, the country’s enviable showing is bolstered by “transparent public institutions (ranked at 39th) with clear property rights and strong judicial independence and an efficient government (29th),” the report noted.

South Africa is ranked at 53rd position while Switzerland, ranked at number one is the most competitive country in the world.

– Nicholas Ibekwe, Premium Times

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