|ABUJA -The World Bank has urged the Federal Government to strive to raise its citizens’ per capita income to justify the rebasing of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
It said that improving on the per capita income in the country would also be in line with the nation’s new status as the largest economy in Africa and 26th largest economy in the world.
The bank’s Chief Economist, African Region, Mr Francisco Ferreira, made the call while briefing newsmen on “Africa’s Pulse” an Economic Outlook Report on Africa, on Monday in Abuja.
Nigeria recorded 89.22 per cent growth in GDP in 2013 with 509.97 billion dollars to overtake South Africa with 370.3 billion dollars to become the largest economy in the continent.
The re-basing of the GDP which came after the last one in 1990 was released by the Federal Government in Abuja on Sunday.
“What matters is the per capita and what also matters is how well our individuals are doing; I think the rebasing is great. At least we have a good sense of how large the economy is.
“Also, Nigeria is the most populous country in the region and it is fantastic we have this done.
“But going forward, what matters, and very important to everybody, is productivity to generate other indicators,’’ Ferreira said.
Commenting on the effect of Nigeria’s new economic rating on South Africa’s economy, he said that the rating would not pose any challenge to Nigeria’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
He explained that investors across the globe did not consider GDP statistics but how profitable the investment would be for them.
“I don’t think South Africa should worry about the recent development; if they want to worry, they can worry about labour situation, strikes and other issues.
“Those things make South Africa less attractive.
“The fact that Nigeria is largest economy now is nothing South Africa should worry about,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Ms Punam Chuhan-Pole, the leader of Africa’s Pulse Team, explained that Nigeria being the largest economy in the region did not mean that investors could not differentiate countries’ prospects and returns.
“I don’t think that because Nigeria is larger, it means South Africa will have less in terms of financial flows; it should not be a concern.
“It depends on merits of the country, the policies and prospects and how investors are viewing that,’’ she said (NAN)