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Opinion: Nigerians don’t care about their ‘new economy’

By Red Media Africa’s Chude Jideonwo, Special to CNN
April 11, 2014 — Updated 0933 GMT (1733 HKT)

Nigeria’s unemployment numbers are abysmal

Editor’s note: Chude Jideonwo is managing partner of Red Media Africa, which holds the continent’s largest portfolio of youth media brands. He has worked as a journalist for 14 years, including as editor and member of the editorial board at NEXT Newspapers. His book, “Are we the turning point generation?” is out in May. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely his.

(CNN) — Nigeria woke up on Sunday to a brand new economy, apparently.

The federal government had changed the baseline for calculating Gross Domestic Product for the first time since 1990, and as a result the economy was boosted by around 75%. This was thanks, in part, to the contributions of accelerated sectors like telecoms and entertainment. Overnight, the economy of the “giant of Africa” had grown from $292 billion to $510 billion. It could now claim to be Africa’s largest economy, and the world’s 26th.

It was another headline-grabbing moment for a government already smug from Nigeria’s status as one of the “MINT” economies, which also includes Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey. They are seen as successors to the now-famous BRICs as profiled by former Goldman Sachs economist, Jim O’Neill. But more interesting than this news is the countrywide response. In summary, it was a loud hiss. To hear one columnist tell it, “until Iya Ramota, the tomato seller at Mile 12 Market, can be guaranteed uninterrupted power supply… any economic statistic indicating that Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa … cannot be worth more than the paper it is written on!”

To be sure, this is not a particularly bright argument. No country is changed overnight.
After all, statistics matter. Read More………….. 

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