ECONOMY OF NIGERIA
Nigeria is a middle income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding financial, service, communications, and entertainment sectors. It is ranked 30th in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) as of 2011, and its emergent, though currently underperforming manufacturing sector is the third-largest on the continent, producing a large proportion of goods and services for the West African region. Previously hindered by years of mismanagement, economic reforms of the past decade have put Nigeria back on track towards achieving its full economic potential. Nigerian GDP at purchasing power parity more than doubled from $170.7 billion in 2005 to $413.4 billion in 2011, although estimates of the size of the informal sector (which is not included in official figures) put the actual numbers closer to $520 billion. Correspondingly, the GDP per capita doubled from $1200 per person in 2005 to an estimated $2,600 per person in 2011 (again, with the inclusion of the informal sector, it is estimated that GDP per capita hovers around $3,500 per person). It is the largest economy in the West Africa Region, 3rd largest economy in Africa (behind South Africa and Egypt), and on track to becoming one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2025. Although much has been made of its status as a major exporter of oil, Nigeria produces only about 2.7% of the world's supply. > To put oil revenues in perspective: at an estimated export rate of 1.9 Mbbl/d (300,000 m3/d), with a projected sales price of $65 per barrel in 2011, Nigeria's anticipated revenue from petroleum is about $52.2 billion. This accounts for less than 14% of official GDP figures (and drops to 10% when the informal economy is included in these calculations). Therefore, though the petroleum sector is important, it remains in fact a small part of the country's overall vibrant and diversified economy. The largely subsistence agricultural sector has not kept up with rapid population growth, and Nigeria, once a large net exporter of food, now imports a large quantity of its food products. In 2006, Nigeria successfully convinced the Paris Club to let it buy back the bulk of its debts owed to the Paris Club for a cash payment of roughly $12 billion (USD).
Nigeria's economy is struggling to leverage the country's vast wealth in fossil fuels in order to displace the crushing poverty that affects about 57% of its population. Economists refer to the coexistence of vast wealth in natural resources and extreme personal poverty in developing countries like Nigeria as the "resource curse". Although "resource curse" is more widely understood to mean an abundance of natural resources which fuels official corruption resulting in a violent competition for the resource by the citizens of the nation. Nigeria's exports of oil and natural gas—at a time of peak prices—have enabled the country to post merchandise trade and current account surpluses in recent years. Reportedly, 80% of Nigeria's energy revenues flow to the government, 16% cover operational costs, and the remaining 4% go to investors. However, the World Bank has estimated that as a result of corruption 80% of energy revenues benefit only 1% of the population. In 2005, Nigeria achieved a milestone agreement with the Paris Club of lending nations to eliminate all of its bilateral external debt. Under the agreement, the lenders will forgive most of the debt, and Nigeria will pay off the remainder with a portion of its energy revenues. Outside of the energy sector, Nigeria's economy is highly inefficient. Moreover, human capital is underdeveloped—Nigeria ranked 151 out of countries in the United Nations Development Index in 2004—and non-energy-related infrastructure is inadequate. From 2003 to 2007, Nigeria attempted to implement an economic reform program called the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS). The purpose of the NEEDS was to raise the country's standard of living through a...
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