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Nigerian Business Outlook

African Development Bank Group - Prospects for Nigeria remain strong

  • Social indicators are beginning to improve as efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals are intensified through the implementation of social-sector reforms, but the northeast region still faces conflict-related challenges.

Nigeria rebased its GDP from 1990 to 2010, resulting in an 89% increase in the estimated size of the economy. As a result, the country now boasts of having the largest economy in Africa with an estimated nominal GDP of USD 510 billion, surpassing South Africa’s USD 352 billion. The exercise also reveals a more diversified economy than previously thought. Nigeria has maintained its impressive growth over the past decade with a record estimated 7.4% growth of real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, up from 6.7% in 2012. This growth rate is higher than the West African subregional level and far higher than the sub-Saharan Africa level.

The performance of the economy continues to be underpinned by favourable improvements in the non-oil sector, with real GDP growth of 5.4%, 8.3% and 7.8% in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively. Agriculture – particularly crop production – trade and services continue to be the main drivers of non-oil sector growth. The oil sector growth performance was not as impressive with 3.4%, -2.3% and 5.3% estimated growth rates in 2011, 2012 and 2013, correspondingly. Growth of the oil sector was hampered throughout 2013 by supply disruptions arising from oil theft and pipeline vandalism, and by weak investment in upstream activities with no new oil finds.

Going forward, there are prospects of strong economic growth although downside risks remain entrenched. Such prospects are expected to hinge on continued recovery of the global economy, favourable agricultural harvests and a possible boost in energy supply arising from the power-sector reform, as well as on expected positive outcomes from the Agricultural Transformation Agenda. Comprehensive economic and structural reforms are also expected to improve economic growth. Nevertheless, the country’s ongoing GDP rebasing may influence the growth figures, possibly making them lower going forward since the expected result is a larger economy.

World Business News