Highlights of Nigeria’s GDP Rebasing Exercise Released

1. Main result. Nigeria’s revised GDP for 2013, is now N80.2 trillion (or US$509.9 billion). This is an increase of about 89% based on the old GDP estimates for 2013 which was N42.4 trillion (or US$269.5 billion). The new GDP numbers do not also mean that Nigeria is suddenly richer overnight. We are simply measuring our  economic activity better. The new results were validated by a panel of local academic experts (Profs. Olu Ajajaiye; Akpan Ekpo; Ganiyu Garba; Ayo Teriba; Yemi Fajingbesi; Doyin Salami; Adeola Adenikiju); and also peer reviewed by statisticians from the IMF, the World Bank, and the Africa Development Bank.

2. Rankings. As a result of the rebased GDP estimates, Nigeria is now ranked as the 26th largest economy in the world, and the largest economy in Africa. It now has peer countries such as: Argentina (ranked #25), Austria (ranked #27), and South Africa (ranked #28).

3. Per capita GDP results. However, given our large population, Nigeria’s GDP per capita (i.e. GDP divided by total population) still remains low. After rebasing, the GDP per capita increased from US$1555 to US$2,688. On this per capita basis, Nigeria is now ranked as 121st in the world, rising from a previous 135th position. By comparison, South Africa has a higher per capita GDP of US$7507, and is ranked 69th in the world for per capita incomes.

4. Structure of the economy. The new results show that the Nigerian economy is more diversified than previously reported, and the structure of the Nigerian economy has also changed significantly. Previously, agriculture comprised 33% of GDP, whereas services accounted for 26% of GDP. With the new GDP results, agriculture now accounts for 22% of GDP, while the services sector has increased to 51% of GDP. The services sector covers activities such as: transportation, information and communications, arts and entertainment, financial and insurance services, real estate, public administration, education and health services.

5. Other important sectors. The rebased numbers for some other important sectors in the economy are as follows: oil & gas (15.9%), manufacturing (6.7%), telecoms (8.7%), and Nollywood (1.2%). 2  Why was rebasing done?

6. According to international norms, all countries typically rebase their GDP statistics every 5 years in order to better capture information on economic activity. For example, Ghana recently rebased its GDP in 2010.

7. In the case of Nigeria, our GDP had not been rebased since 1990! a. The structure of Nigeria’s economy had changed significantly since 1990 with the rapid growth and emergence of sectors such as: telecoms and the movie and entertainment industry (Nollywood). b. The new GDP estimates are also based on a much improved sampling frame (which is about 10 times more detailed) and so allow us to capture economic activity better. Policy implications of GDP rebasing for Nigeria

8. Economic diversification. The new results indicate that Nigeria’s economy is more  diversified than previously reported, further supporting the Government’s recent diversification efforts. We will continue with our policies to support our diversification in agriculture, in manufacturing, in housing & construction, in the creative sectors, and so on. We will also put more emphasis on supporting small businesses as they transition from the informal to the formal sector, by improving infrastructure, access to finance, and skills development.

9. Economic and social statistics. Because Nigeria’s GDP is now larger, some of our other economic statistics (which are calculated as a percentage of GDP) will decline. For example, our debt-to-GDP ratio now declines from 19% to 11%; whereas our tax revenue-to-GDP ratio drops from 20% to 12%. Our main social statistics for example, on poverty and inequality remain unchanged for now, but surveys are ongoing to also update these social statistics.

10. Next steps. The release of the rebased GDP data is part of a broader push by this Administration to improve and update Nigeria’s statistics. We will continue to support the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to update our social and economic statistics in areas such as agriculture, poverty surveys, job creation and so on.