Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for Nigeria’s Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Sunday put the worth of Nigeria’s economy at $510 billion, making it the biggest in Africa and 26th in the world.
Ikonjo-Iweala told a press conference that the new data makes Nigeria the 26th largest economy in the world and raises its per capita income to $2,688, making it No. 121 in the world, up from No. 135.
Okonjo-Iweala blamed decades of military rule for the delay in repositioning Nigeria’s economy, but that Nigeria is not alone.
She said Ghana’s economy jumped by 60 percent when it recalculated its goods and services production in 2012, and Kenya and Zambia are considering the same.
She explained that Nigeria’s economy needs to grow at about 10 percent to address massive poverty and youth unemployment adding that data indicated that the economy grew to $453 billion in 2012, instead of $264 billion as measured by the World Bank for that year.
South Africa’s economy was at $384 billion in 2012, according to the World Bank.
“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.
Okonjo-Iweala said GDP per capita in Nigeria was now $2,688 — up from $1,555 in 2012 — taking the country from 135th position in the world to 121st.
GDP per capita in South Africa in comparison was $7,508.
Estimates for 2013 indicated further expansion to $510 billion, Nigeria’s chief statistician, Yemi Kale, said adding that the figures should not be seen as an end in themselves but should be used to help the government shape policy for the future.
The next rebasing was planned for 2015, with the results out in 2016, he added.