The GDP rebasing by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which rates the Nigerian economy as the largest in Africa is still generating controversy and mixed reactions from the general public as well as stakeholders.
Some are of the opinion that the import and impact of the GDP rebasing can be better appreciated when it improves the nation’s economy and the standard of living of average Nigerians.
Entrepreneurs ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with on the landmark development also canvassed similar view when we asked them their take on the GDP rebasing…
ANUOLUWAPO OLAJUMOKE, Mai Makeworld
With what I have read so far on GDP rebasing, it’s just a recalculation of our Gross Domestic Product taking into consideration sectors like telecoms, Nollywood, music e.t.c, that were excluded when it was first calculated. Nigeria becoming the biggest economy does not translate to poverty reduction, at least for now. It has little significance on small scale business. The best way SME can feel the GDP rebase is for government to make intervention fund accessible to small businesses at a single digit interest rate and this will help reduce the poverty level.
TOYIN OYEDOLA, Teetop Entertainment
Using new indices to measure our GDP growth and from what I have read, Nigeria emerged the biggest economy in Africa because of this new yardstick. It is a good development in so far as it would put more food on my table and the standard of living will improve. Entertainment is one of the major contributors to the GDP growth and that’s what I do. As an entertainment content provider, I expect the sector to boom more than before. However, we can’t talk of growth in businesses when there is no electricity, no good road, food and basic infrastructure. Until we provide suitable environment for businesses to thrive, the GDP growth may just be a mere paper work.
The recent rebasing that saw Nigeria emerging the biggest African economy is nothing but a mere superficial re-evaluation of the economy using some shallow indices. The fact remains that South Africa’s economy is still by far bigger than Nigeria’s by major standards. Even if we now claim to have a greater GDP by that exercise, our teeming population would always impact negatively on the per capita level. But then, it all spells a good omen to the perception of Nigeria’s economy as investors would now react more positively to such news.
I actually don’t see such affecting my business in any way.
SHIRLEY IGWE, Shirlz Mega Concept Ltd
My understanding of GDP rebasing is all about updating our GDP to reflect the current contribution of all the sectors to the economy.
It should mean better business for us, everything being equal.
JOHN ODIBOH, The Trevent Company
Former head of state, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida once said, “Nigeria has defiled all economic theories.”
Successive governments have come and gone in Nigeria, all of them scoring zero in the economy because of the brazen kleptocrasy, the wanton stealing and open looting of the nation’s treasury. The economy of Nigeria, especially from the Babangida era actually only exists on paper and till this moment, it is an open secret that you can never get government to tell you the truth about anything in Nigeria especially the economy, because to do so will reveal leadership’s inadequacies and loots. Hence, shooting themselves in the foot.
The Nigerian economy is never planned and the only area which has a semblance of planning is our budget. The budget (which eventually turns out to be no budget) is never really planned to bring economic development to the country and prosperity to the people, but to take care of a very few rich and subsequently make the poor poorer and businesses comatose.
According to the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, corroborated by the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, more that 75 percent of the nation’s budget is on recurrent expenditure (salaries and allowances) while the rest is for capital expenditure which never sees the light of the day. So, who is fooling who?
The re-basing of Nigeria’s GDP and our acclaimed biggest economy in Africa is a sweet caption to deceive the gullible and uneducated. This is just like its sister re-branding caption of “Nigeria Great Nation, Good People”. It failed because it lacks substance. The World Bank just classified Nigeria the third extremely poorest nation in the world far behind many small African nations and we are rejoicing, calling ourselves the biggest economy in Africa.
We don’t need anybody to tell us that businesses will not thrive in an economy that cannot boast of security, electricity, good roads, good education, water supply, employment, good tax regime. As far as I am concerned, I don’t see how re-basing the country’s GDP helps my business when there are no basic infrastructure to help economic growth. It is basic economic logic, nobody should be fooled.
SHELLE DARE, Dee Entertainment
GDP rebasing has grown the Nigerian economy by 89 percent, that is $509 billion, far more than expected. Nigeria is now the largest economy in Africa as it has overtaken South Africa’s $345 billion economy. This is very good because it is very profitable for our businesses here, attracting more customers.
It will affect my business positively because of more patronage its attractiveness in every financial and economic model worldwide, luring investments.
EROMOSELE BASH, Beeroms Consulting
The greatest measurement of GDP is the standard of living of people. Nigerians have never been this poor. You need to go to the streets to appreciate this.
Business wise, small businesses are closing daily. As you may know, SME is the driving force for any serious economy. But you can’t find any space in the system to survive.
PRINCESS CHINEKE, Beacon Nig. Limited
GDP rebasing is about changing the base year used in measuring the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. The new figures now say much about the state of our economy.
Operating in the biggest economy in Africa will definitely affect my business in a positive sense.
It’s all about the current rating by the World Bank which, to me, is unbelievable. But at the same time, it’s good to hear that Nigeria’s economy is number one in Africa. That also correlates with our status as the giant of Africa. We’re the most populous in the continent, and under an ideal situation, if we have been enjoying good governance all this while, we’re even supposed to be competing with other developed countries, not only being the first in Africa. And with this rating, I think we should be gingered to move forward.
For now, it has not affected my business because the industry I belong has its peculiar problem. That’s piracy, which has not been thoroughly dealt with. Although, I understand entertainment was also rated as part of the economic activities that contributed to the increase in our GDP, that does not mean the impact is being really felt by the practitioners and other stakeholders in the industry.
It can only affect my business if the government also encourages us, and the issue of piracy is handled with sincerity of purpose.
OLUMIDE COLUMBUS, Enzy Clothings
It means that Nigeria has the biggest economy in Africa. That is what they want us to believe. I do not know if it will affect my business in any way. The whole GDP rebasing thing is just a feel good thing for the government.
To me, rebasing the GDP means basing the GDP on more of the country’s earnings and not just on oil and a few resources.
Since the entertainment industry has been added to it, it’s supposed to affect my business positively. But due to the way things operate in Nigeria, I don’t expect much from the new structure.
It means our economy has improved but we’re yet to see the impact on the lives of the masses generally. I think our leaders are to blame because we’re all aware of the fact that Nigeria is blessed with lots of human and mineral resources which actually contributed to the new rating by World Bank.
But the management culture is lacking. Most of the economic policies have not been channeled towards the betterment of majority of us but few people, especially those in power.
Fine, entertainment is inclusive but it’s contribution is too small for now, which is not supposed to be so. We could have done better if we enjoyed good support from the government. It’s then we the practitioners will also enjoy the business.
For instance, United States of America and India are the giants in entertainment, and that has contributed immensely to the development of these two countries. If their governments have not been supportive, would they have reached that level? Now, in Nigeria, we work, others reap the fruits of our labour. And our government is not doing anything about it. It’s unfair.
KAMIL RAJI, Elowal Concept Ventures
It only elevated the status of Nigeria in terms of economic size and not necessarily shown in the real sense. The government has been encouraging youths to be self employed, but none of these is given adequate support.
KAYODE OLANSHILE ALFRED, Pressing Time Laundry and Drycleaning Service
That is the growth in our economy, which is far more than what we Nigerians least expected. Nigeria now has the largest economy in Africa.
It is very good for our business and it will affect it positively with more patronage.