The rebased Nigerian gross domestic product (GDP) has seen the West African country surpassing South Africa. Nigeria took the top spot in Africa after the inclusion of its previously uncounted industries such as the telecoms, online sales, airlines, music and film industry.
“The announcement resonates with South Africa’s consistence message since 1994. We want to see more African economies grow and live up to their potential just as we striving to do so in our economy,” said Gordhan in response to Nigeria’s new position as Africa’s economic powerhouse.
“South Africa has been and will continue to benefit from faster economic growth in the rest of the continent. The South African government and the private sector continue to play not small part in the growth and development of the continent,” he added.
The Nigerian economy last rebased its economy in 1990 and that did not account for the music, film, airlines and telecommunications industries.
The West African country is now estimated to be 510 billion dollars, 32.8 per cent larger than South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) currently at 384 billion dollars.
Nigeria is the most populous country in the continent with over 160 million people. Nigeria’s population gives it an edge ahead of its peers due to a large consumer market.
At the eve of Nigerian president’s (Goodluck Jonathan) visit to South Africa last year, president Jacob Zuma indicated that more than 100 South African companies were doing business in Nigeria.
South African firms have a bigger stake in Nigeria’s wholesale, retail, service and telecommunications sectors which contribute immensely in the rebased GDP, among them is mobile company MTN and food outlet Shoprite.
Instead of seeing it as a negative development, minister Gordhan says Nigeria’s growth is a positive story that demonstrates positive mutual trade relations among African countries contributing to each other’s development.
BY TRUST MATSILELE