Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and 30th in the world with a GDP of about $398 billion. It is also Africa’s most populous state with a population of approximately 198 million. Nigeria ranks 49th in the export market globally with exports of $46.8B and imports of $34.2B in 2017. The state is among the few African states with a positive balance of payment. In 2018, exports from Nigeria rose by $2B to $48.8B making it the second-largest exporter in Africa behind South Africa. Despite ranking top in Africa, Nigeria is the 124th most complex economy, as it remains fragile and susceptible to imported inflation due to the over-dependence on oil exports. Apart from petroleum products, Nigeria also exports cocoa beans and rough wood. India ($8.25B) and the United States ($6.68B) are the top export destination alongside Spain ($4.54B) and France ($2.81B).
Biggest Exports of Nigeria
Nigeria relies heavily on petroleum products for export revenues. In 2018, petroleum products accounted for about 92% of the country's exports. Top exports are crude petroleum ($35.6B), petroleum gas ($6.47B), and refined petroleum ($774M). Nigeria exports crude oil and imports refined oil due to a lack of refineries and limited technology. Over-reliance on petroleum products exposes the country to inflation and unstable revenues due to fluctuating oil prices. The West African state is among countries with vast deposits of natural gas but is unable to mobilize them for domestic consumption and export due to political instability, lack of technology, legislative shortcomings, inconsistent growth, insurgency, and corruption.
Agriculture accounts for 70% of employment and 22% of the GDP. Favorable climate and the abundance of arable land allows the state to grow nuts, grains, and fruits. However, most of the farming in the country is subsistence-based with the utilization of manual labor and limited agricultural machinery. Cashew nuts in shells, sesame seeds, cocoa beans, and soya beans are the top agricultural exports. In 2018, Nigeria failed to sign the Continental Free Trade Area agreement that advocates for unrestricted trade across the African continent citing protection of its domestic industries.
The Service Industry In Nigeria
Nigeria’s service industry ranks 27th in the world and first in Africa. The country has an enormous potential for financial service, and international banks are becoming attracted by the market. A large percentage of the population has limited access to financial services due to bureaucratic systems lack of investments. The tourism sector remains limited due to political instability while poor infrastructure hinders efficient transport.