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Nigeria: Abuja unveils new rebased GDP, set to become Africa’s new largest economy

Nigeria will on Sunday unveil its new rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which will put the Nigerian economy ahead of South Africa as Africa’s largest economy.

The new rebased figures, which have great economic and geopolitical implications, were approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its weekly meeting Wednesday.

With a current nominal GDP of about US$305 billion, Nigeria’s GDP is projected to be boosted by 40 to 60 percent and to surpass that of South Africa which is presently US$350 billion.

Other impacts of the rebasing include the possible reduction of growth rates to 5-6 per cent from 6-7 per cent, and an increase in GDP per capita to US$2,400 from around US$1,700.

In essence, the new figures will effectively move Nigeria into the middle income economy level.

Nigerian Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, told journalists after the Council meeting, presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo, that the new rebased data, scheduled to be released by 2 pm on Sunday in Abuja, is expected to highlight the progress recorded in Nigeria’s economy in the last 15 years when the last GDP figures were unveiled.

Maku noted that with the new data, aiding the Nigerian government in its planning purposes through a new and reliable GDP figures, there will be proper planning for development purposes while investors would better understand indices of growth of the various sectors that make up the economy.

According to the Information Minister, “we received today (Wednesday) briefing by the Coordinating Minister of Economy (CME) and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that after nearly 15 years that Nigeria is now ready to rebase its GDP. This is after more than one year of hard work by the Ministries of Finance and National Planning, the Chief Statistician to the Federation and international agencies like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Development Bank (IDB).

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