LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria is expected to overtake South Africa as the biggest economy in Africa, with a long-overdue recount of its GDP that will give it continental bragging rights but do little for its 112 million people surviving in poverty.
Analysts say Nigeria’s economy could show growth of as much as 70 percent on Sunday when the finance minister announces figures to include previously uncounted industries like cell phones and IT, airlines and the Nollywood film industry that didn’t exist when the last assessment was made in 1990. Then, Nigeria had 300,000 landlines. Today it has 100 million cell phone users.
Economists say the rebasing will lower Nigeria’s much-vaunted growth rate and the debt ratio of the country that is Africa’s most populous, with 170 million people, and its biggest oil producer.