On Nigeria’s GDP Rebasing – Plus Links I Find Interesting, Rebasing Edition

By | April 7, 2014

There really is nothing much to the rebasing/re-benchmarking exercise. That it has not been done in such a long period, hence making the updated figures sound so huge, says more about governance in Nigeria than anything else. And any serious Nigeria analyst or private sector player is not really surprised by the figures.

The point that jumps at most people is the fact that the new figures show that Nigeria’s economy is the biggest in Africa (really, journalists, analysts, commentators, could you please not add ‘now’ before biggest?). This means that it is bigger than the South African economy. Well, it is a numbers game. Nigeria has more than thrice the population of South Africa, so it shouldn’t be totally surprising that the Nigerian economy is larger than the SA economy by less than USD140b.

What Nigeria gets from this is a morale boost. The FT quotes Dr Okonjo-Iweala, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, as saying, “The revision will have a psychological impact. It underlines to foreign investors that this country has a large consumer base.” I agree.

What we also get is a new debt-to-GDP ratio that suddenly gives more room for debt – which I personally find scary. Plus we also get a  lower growth rate. Anyways, some links below, for more on the issue.

1. Feyi Fawehinmi wrote this before the new GDP figures were announced – GDP Rebasing and Reality: The Nigerian Story

2. FT – Nigeria almost doubles GDP in recalculation

3. On NigeriansTalk: Ifeanyi Uddin – On The New GDP Numbers; Nonso Obikili – A story about Emeka and GDP rebasing

4. Chuba Ezekwesili – The Bricklayer’s Guide to Understanding Nigeria’s GDP Rebase

5. From Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics – FAQs on Nigeria’s GDP Rebasing

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