Nigeria Becomes Leading Economy in Africa

Nigeria outpaced South Africa as the largest economy on the continent, fresh data by the country's statistics institute show.

Its GDP was NGN (naira) 80.22 trillion or USD 509 B in 2013 and registered a strong, 7.41-percent growth, according to the head of the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, Yemi Kale.

What has contributed to this result is Nigeria's success in e-commerce, music, services, mobile phones and film industry (the latter worth 1.4% of GDP), Kale suggested as quoted by Al Jazeera English.

Nigeria had not rebased its GDP statistics since 1990 and relied only on unofficial estimates, some of which put its economy at USD 270 B.

Togu Ogunlesi, part of the Guardian Africa network, wrote on the Guardian's website that the discovery was "the equivalent of suddenly discovering that the existence of six Ghanas within Nigeria".

Nigeria, with its 170 million people, is also Africa's biggest country in terms of population.

South Africa and its 48 million inhabitants, on the other hand, are currently facing serious financial turmoil and high unemployment, but, apart from representing the continent at the G20, is considered to be more developed than Nigeria in a number of fields, including infrastructure.

Nigeria besides lags far behind South Africa in terms of its GDP per capita index.

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