5-speed listening (Level 6)

Nigeria becomes Africa's biggest economy



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Nigeria has changed the way it measures its gross domestic product (GDP) and has announced it is now Africa's largest economy. It is the first time the continent's most populous nation has claimed the top spot. Nigeria "rebased" its gross domestic product data to incorporate newer industries that were not accounted for under the old GDP measuring rules. The inclusion of sectors such as telecommunications, information technology, movie production and online commerce has pushed the country above the traditional economic powerhouse, South Africa. Nigeria's statisticians say GDP for 2013 totalled $510 billion, considerably bigger than South Africa's GDP of $370 billion.

Rebasing of GDP is what most countries do every three years to account for the economic contributions of new and emerging industries. Nigeria hadn't rebased its economy in two decades. In this time, many new industries have blossomed. Nigeria's chief statistician Dr Yemi Kale said the new figures do not mean Nigerians are suddenly richer. He explained: "It's just about measuring better and more accurately. It does not mean that within 24 hours, something miraculous has happened." 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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