Economic Growth in NigeriaNigeria boasts a population of more than 200 million people who are religiously diverse and rapidly growing. The country houses the largest economy on the African continent. It depends heavily on oil production and oil exports, which comprise 80% of its national revenue. In 2015, the Nigerian economy grew at half the rate of the previous decade due to the global oil price recession. The government acknowledges the necessity of a comprehensive plan for sustainable economic growth in Nigeria.

President Buhari

Despite the Human Rights Watch’s claims of human rights abuses, fighting between the government and terrorist group, Boko Haram, as well corruption both within the government and the oil industry, Nigeria is a rapidly growing and dynamic nation. In 2015, a peaceful transfer of power from incumbent Goodluck Jonathan to Muhammadu Buhari took place after a competitive election. President Buhari is a former military head of state and has made vows to improve the living standards of Nigerians. Furthermore, he wants to fight corruption and boost the economy both through the oil industry and outside of it.

Diversifying and Boosting Nigeria’s Economy

A report put out by the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank found that private sector growth strategies could help Nigeria by attracting outside investment and creating more quality jobs for millions of its citizens. The report states that this strategy will require better policy frameworks and reforms to support sectors outside of the oil industry. Nigeria has pledged to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030, which is becoming increasingly challenging with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This report highlights a hopeful investment strategy that can help foster economic growth in Nigeria.

Nigeria experienced 11 straight quarters of GDP growth since its recession ended, but growth has stalled given the COVID-19 pandemic. President Buhari has set out to diversify the nation’s economic strategy and has focused on agriculture to achieve the poverty reduction goal. In addition to the agricultural industry, President Buhari has sought to revamp the cotton, tactile and garment industry. Furthermore, the nation has focused its efforts on increasing non-oil exports such as cocoa and sesame seeds. Revenue from these exports grew by $79.4 million and $153 million respectively. These examples serve to show the promise of diversifying and strengthening the Nigerian economy amid unstable times.

The Potential of Agriculture

President Buhari met with the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) and stated that his administration is committed to implementing “rapid, sustained, sustainable and inclusive economic growth.” President Buhari focused again on agriculture-based strategies and the utilization of more land throughout the country. Nigeria currently only irrigates about 2% of its land, indicating significant room for agricultural development. Buhari says that raising agricultural productivity is vital to address the disparities between regions and “ensure macro-economic stability.”

The PEAC has pledged to help Nigeria with an approach to eradicating poverty that will be multi-dimensional, focusing on aspects such as access to housing, health, education and employment. President Buhari vowed his commitment to reducing poverty in Nigeria but collaboration from all levels will ensure a comprehensive and effective national response.

Tatiana Nelson
Photo: Flickr

Growing Markets in Lagos
Nigeria is often associated with a stagnant economy riddled with corruption; however, Lagos, the country’s largest city, hosts business opportunities that are continually growing, making it one of Africa’s largest rising economies. Lagos is currently Africa’s seventh largest economy, and its rapid rise in GDP and population have the city projected to become the continent’s second largest market by 2035. The growing markets in Lagos have boosted Nigeria’s economy and have set an example in a continent full of market opportunities.

Economy and Population in Lagos

The GDP and population growth of Lagos, Nigeria are the most indicative factors of the rapidly growing market opportunities in the city. Economic growth first began in Lagos after the government moved the capital to Abuja in 1991, and then continued on after the government invested money in the growing oil industry in the area.

In addition to the oil industry, Lagos has also economically benefitted from Nigerian policy reforms that improve privatization of businesses. Many newly privatized companies are centralized in the Yaba district of Lagos, which has been financially supported by the state government, and infrastructure projects are constantly underway to reflect the rapid growth of the city.

This economic growth has led to a state output of $136 billion in 2017, comprising more than a third of Nigeria’s GDP. The strong economy of Lagos is projected to continue growing with a 4.5 percent GDP growth per year in 2035, a figure that rests significantly above the current global average of 2.9 percent.

Lagos’s growing economy and infrastructure largely work to support a rapidly increasing population. By 2035, the population is expected to reach 28.5 million people ­­– significantly higher than the 2012 census population of just over 8 million people. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode claims that the population is a significant factor of the growing markets in Lagos, adding that the city has “the population and rise of an emerging class” and is “a new market, a new frontier to consider.”

New Businesses in Lagos

New business opportunities have shown off the increasingly prosperous markets in Lagos, and many successful Nigerian startups now have their offices in the city. Finance/technology, consulting, retail companies and startups like PayLater and Yellow Brick Road have historically dominated the economic environment of Lagos, and continue to host numerous companies that have caught investors’ attention.

Investment opportunities in Lagos are also important to the city’s markets and are some of the largest in all of Africa. According to the World Bank, an estimated $93 billion in investments in Africa is required annually, and Lagos requires at least a quarter of these investments.

Continued Expansion

Market opportunities in Africa continue to expand with economic growth, and these opportunities are only emphasized in Lagos, Nigeria. The city has become a thriving music, fashion and film hub throughout Africa, and growing markets in Lagos develop along with GDP and population.

Africa has immense economic potential, and Lagos is only one of several cities on the continent that showcases these realized business opportunities. With continued attention and proper investment, both the city and the nation should see a bright fiscal future.

Matthew Cline
Photo: Flickr