Nigeria is a country that is steeped with opportunities and chances for economic growth, but has its problems and challenges as well. Between 1990 and 2010, Nigeria re-based its GDP, which resulted in an 89% increase in the economy's estimated size. Now, Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa with a nominal estimated GDP of $590 billion, surpassing South Africa’s $340 Billion, and has maintained over the past decade an average growth rate of 6.8%, higher than the West Africa sub-region.
The growth of the economy could be attributed to favorable improvements in the non-oil sector, such as in agriculture; in particular crop production, trade, and services. The oil sector's performance was hampered due to disruptions in supply because of oil theft and pipeline vandalism, as well as global financial trends. Major risks to Nigeria’s economic growth are the slow recovery of the global economy, security challenges in the Northeastern part of the county from Boko Haram, and resource control for the Niger Delta.
One of the largest challenges facing Nigeria is making its sustained economic growth more inclusive to its population, as poverty and unemployment are major challenges facing the economy. There are few avenues for the wealth to reach the people, and the manufacturing industry has suffered in past decades. For the economic growth to continue, more needs to be done to diversify Nigeria’s sources of revenue, as currently 90% of its revenue comes from oil exports.
Strong economic growth is dependent on economic drivers beside oil, as well as Nigeria’s human capital and labor supply. Although it will face many challenges going forward, sustainable economic growth is definitely obtainable for Nigeria.