Challenges loom despite planned GDP rebase


“An average per capita income growth that turns out to be higher isn’t going to change the fact that a large number of Nigerians still live in poverty, that there are significant developmental challenges that the Nigerian economy still faces,” Khan, the head of Africa research at Standard Chartered, told CNBC Africa on Tuesday.   

Nigeria has released a timeline for the rebasing of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The rebasing, which is expected to increase the estimated size of the country by about 40 per cent, could take until end of 2013, at the earliest. The preliminary estimates may tentatively be available by December 10.

“The rebasing in all likelihood will suggest that the Nigerian economy has been under measured so far, despite the debate about the extent of under measurement, and will bring Nigeria that much closer to South Africa,” she added.


World Bank reported that Nigeria’s GDP was 262.6 billion US dollars in 2012 but indicated that the growth rate decreased from 7.4 per cent in 2011 to 6.6 in 2012.

“We all know of course that South Africa’s economy, a somewhat more mature economy, has different growth constraints. Nigeria to the best of our knowledge has shown up in terms of business performance, in terms of non-oil revenue. It looks as though something of a recovery may now be underway,” Khan explained.

“Nigeria could be the bigger economy as early as 2018 or it may not overtake the South African economy before 2038 – it all depends on which assumptions you think are sensible enough to go with in the long term. What we do know of course is that the rebasing will alter that.”