The Statistician-General of Nigeria, Dr. Yemi Kale, said yesterday at an event in Abuja, that the current GDP of the country stood at $510 billion, thus making Nigeria the largest economy in Africa.
In a presentation on the process of rebasing the nation’s GDP, Dr. Kale noted that rebasing did not imply new figures only, but showed clearly the performance of the economy in data form.
He noted that rebasing and re-benchmarking of the GDP was just one of the things the country needed to get its statistics right, saying that it was important that Nigerians “do not mix data with ideology”, even as he said, “We need to be more objective in the way we apply our data.”
According to him, the last time Nigeria rebased its GDP was in 1990.
Kale stressed that Nigeria had “rebased” its gross domestic product (GDP) data, which, according to him, had pushed it above South Africa as the continent’s biggest economy.
Nigerian GDP, he noted, now included previously uncounted industries like telecoms, information technology, music, online sales, airlines, and film production, adding that GDP for 2013 totalled 80.3 trillion naira (£307.6bn: $509.9bn). He added that this compared with South Africa’s GDP of $370.3bn at the end of 2013.
However, some economists had noted that Nigeria’s economic output was underperforming, because with 170 million people, its population was three times larger than South Africa’s, adding that on a per-capita basis, South Africa’s GDP numbers were three times larger than Nigeria’s. A Nigerian financial analyst, Bismarck Rewane, while commenting on the development, described th e revisions “a vanity”, adding: “The Nigerian population is not better off tomorrow because of that announcement. It doesn’t put more money in the bank, more food in their stomach. It changes nothing.”