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Nigeria becomes Africa's biggest economy






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Nigeria has changed how it measures its gross domestic product (GDP). It is now Africa's largest economy. It is the first time for Africa's most populous nation to have the top spot. Nigeria "rebased" its GDP data to include newer industries not accounted for under the old measuring rules. New sectors like telecommunications, information technology, movie production and online commerce have pushed the country above the old economic powerhouse, South Africa. Nigeria's GDP for 2013 totalled $510 billion, much bigger than South Africa's GDP of $370 billion.

The rebasing of GDP is what most countries do every three years to account for economic changes. Nigeria hadn't rebased its economy in two decades. It has many new industries. A Nigerian statistician said the new figures do not mean Nigerians were suddenly richer or that, "within 24 hours, something miraculous has happened". He said it was simply better and more accurate data. Nigeria's Tribune newspaper wrote: "Although pockets of vast wealth exist, most of Nigeria's estimated 170 million people still live on $2 a day, while key services such as water and electricity provision are poor."

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