Nigeria overtake South Africa in terms of “Rebased” GDP

There has been a lot of talk lately about Nigeria becoming the new powerhouse economy in Africa. This is often backed by statistics which clearly show the resounding difference between South Africa and Nigeria.

GDP (2013):
Nigeria – $509.9bn
South Africa – $370.3bn

While that seems like a huge difference in GDP, we must ask ourselves whether that is surprising or not. The last time Nigeria added new components to their GDP calculations was in 1990. If we look at the population of the two countries, Nigeria with 170 million and South Africa with close to 50 million, it paints a completely different picture. This shows that the per capita GDP of South Africa is actually higher. This basically means that Nigeria isn’t actually benefiting its citizens anymore than it was in the past. One must also acknowledge that a lot of South African companies have heavily invested in other African countries which include Nigeria.

Some other interesting facts:
Standard & Poor have left Nigeria’s rating at BBB-. They are not convinced of the political risk and poor governance of the country.


– Kavir Naidoo


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