Nigeria’s fourth fast growing economy, says World Bank

Nigeria’s economy is the fourth fastest growing worldwide, a World Bank official, Richard Sandock, has said.

He listed other countries that recorded significant growth in their economies to include the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India China,

Speaking at  the Seventh National Conference on Investment in Abuja at the weekend, Sandock said: “Nigeria has slowly been coming up and has finally taken over from Russia and South Africa. “

Nigeria had recorded a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 10.3 per cent, 10.6 per cent, 5.4 per cent, 6.2 per cent, 7 per cent, 6 per cent, 7 per cent and 7.4 per cent in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 . As the second quarter of 2011, the country’s economy had grown by 7.72 per cent and is projected to hit 7.98 per cent by the end of the year.  

The World Bank official noted that all sectors of the  economy contributed to the growth, adding  that in spite of the growth, Nigeria is still facing serious crisis in the labour market.

“In spite of the huge growth Nigeria is making, the labour market is still very choked up, as about   four million Nigerians are jobless.Though there are changes in Nigeria, most times, it is not about incentives, but the system of the government. 

“The system should be there for every kind of change.  Investors need stability and predictability, meaning in 10 years, their investment will be as protected as the day they came into that country,” he said.  

Sandock, said, all the government needs is to ensure that the environment is conducive and safe for business to thrive. These days, it is all about the Public-Private Partnership (PPP), let investors do their thing, that is most important in any growing economy, he added.

Two leading experts – Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) and researchers at Standard Chartered Bank, had earlier the year predicted that the Nigerian economy would overtake that of South Africa.

 Some economies of the biggest seven emerging countries (China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey – the E7), as well as South Africa, Nigeria, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam, will by that time be bigger than those of the G7 (the US, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada), according to the report published on the website of Fin24.

 PwC’s The World in 2050 report, forecast that Nigeria and Vietnam will replace South Africa and Australia’s positions on the list of the 20 biggest economies in the world simply because their economies will show faster growth. 

Also, analyst at Standard Chartered said Nigeria’s GDP would overtake South Africa’s by 2015.

Speaking in Lagos, Regional Head of Research, Africa Global Research, Standard Chartered Bank,  Razia Khan, had also forecast that by 2015, Nigeria would be the fourth most populous country in the world..

South Africa, which is currently the largest economy in Africa, is eager for elevation to the coveted BRIC  status of emerging markets, but investors say Nigeria is a more probable African contender, even if promotion for either is some way off. 

Khan however, maintained that for these projections to be attained, Nigeria needs a lot of structural growth.

She also said the planned removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government would help correct a lot of distortions in the Nigerian economy.

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Nigeria’s fourth fast growing economy, says World Bank

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