Nigeria now largest economy in Africa, 26 largest in the world – Okonjo-Iweala

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala06 April 2104, Abuja – Nigeria is now the largest economy in Africa and the 26th largest economy in the World, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iwuala has announced

She made the disclosure on Sunday in Abuja at a press briefing where the results of the rebasing exercise of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was unveiled.
Speaking on the development, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stated that with the recent exercise, “Nigeria’s estimated GDP in 2013 is N80.2 trillion or approximately $509.9 billion.”
As a result, Nigeria she said “has moved to be the largest economy by GDP size in Africa and has moved to be the 26th largest economy in the world, it notched 10 points up. On a per capita basis, Nigeria is number 121 in the world so we have the total GDP size of $2,688 per capita now and moved up from 135.”
Okonjo-Iweala however cautioned that “even though our GDP size is large in Africa and even to the world where we are number 26, if you divide it by the total number of our population we should not get carried away by the whole exercise.”
“The share of GDP of some sectors are now quite important. Manufacturing moved from 2 per cent to 7 per cent which is significant and telecommunications moved from a very low number of 1 per cent to 3 per cent. Nollywood moved from zero per cent to 1.2 per cent now and it was not being included in the GDP that was earlier measured as well as a lot of telecommunications services. A whole lot of services in the formal and informal sectors were excluded from our GDP and these have now been brought in in terms of measurement.”
This rise in services she said is not unusual for any economy and the fact that agriculture is now 22 per cent does not make it any less important. Agriculture she said is “still has a strong share of GDP and that is why we will maintain our focus.”
What this means Okonjo-Iweala added “is that what Nigerians have been wishing for, that is a more diversified economy is showing up in these numbers, with better information we can see that the economy is more diversified than before.”
She lamented that the share of oil and gas has dropped to about 15.9 per cent “but it is still an important sector of the economy as any sector with 10 per cent or more of the GDP is considered important to the economy but services is making a bigger mark.”
Government,  the finance minister said “will need to continue to support diversification of the economy and push harder and we need to continue to support agriculture, manufacturing because we have seen how it has grown with policies.”
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