The second fastest growing region in the world and
one of only two regions to experience growth in
foreign direct investment in 2012, Africa is
becoming the place to be for international
investors; and as the second largest economy
behind South Africa and with the largest workforce
on the continent, Nigeria is powering the African
Once tainted by political instability, corruption and
poor fiscal management, the West African nation is
being transformed by President Goodluck Jonathan,
who has introduced several reform measures since
assuming office in 2010. Mr Jonathan had served as
vice-president to Umaru Yar’Adua, but took over
the top seat following the death of Mr Yar’Adua
from a kidney illness in May 2010. Economic growth
has been impressive since the end of military rule in
1999 and the successful installation of democracy.
GDP growth averaged 7.4 per cent annually for a
decade and it is expected to grow by 6.5 per cent in
Nigeria’s ambitious long-term development plan,
Vision 20:2020, envisages the country becoming one of
the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.Goldman
Sachs has included Nigeria in its list of the ‘Next-11’
economies to drive global growth in the future. Oil-rich
Nigeria has relied heavily on the oil and gas industry for
revenues and economic growth. However, it is the nonoil
sector that has driven the economy forward.
Non-oil sector growth is being driven by: the services
industry, particularly telecommunications and trade;
publicly and privately financed infrastructure; agriculture;
and a banking and finance sector that has been
reinvigorated following the crash of 2008.
Investment in oil and gas has been below par of late
as investors await the passing of the Petroleum
Industry Bill. This revolutionary piece of legislation
will see huge improvements in transparency,
accountability and governance; increased local
content and community involvement; and the
deregulation of the downstream industry.
Revenues from oil remain buoyant thanks to high oil
prices and are being pumped wisely into the Excess
Crude Account and the sovereign wealth fund. These
funds are being used for the much needed
development of infrastructure and to spur economic
“There are two things that are holding the economy
back: electricity and rail infrastructure deficits. With
[the sovereign wealth] fund, there is a minimum
allocation of 20 per cent for each area. The
infrastructure fund can be co-invested with other
Agriculture, which employs 70 per cent of the
workforce, has and will remain a mainstay of the
economy. There is huge potential as the country tries
to bring more of the value chain to Nigeria,
converting agriculture to agribusiness.
The World Bank recently committed to $300 million
(£197 million) to improve overall management of the
country’s rapidly expanding agriculture industry
to support the growing ranks of agribusiness
entrepreneurs in the country.
There are no doubts that Nigeria has problems – be
they related to security, poverty, corruption, an overreliance on crude oil revenues or inadequate
But the people of Nigeria have worked diligently and
will continue to do so for the continued, sustainable
transformation of their country, for the benefit of
investors and inhabitants of the nation alike.
Read the Country Report here
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