Home SPECIAL Nigeria Still The Largest Economy In Africa, Osinbajo Boasts

Nigeria Still The Largest Economy In Africa, Osinbajo Boasts

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has told the Vietnamese President, Nguyen Xuan Phuc that Nigeria remains the largest economy in the African continent, accounting for over 20 percent of the continental Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Osinbajo, who paid a courtesy visit on Nguyen Xuan Phuc to end his three-day official visit to Vienam today, December 7, stressed that Nigeria remains the most intuitive place to do business, saying that despite the economic slowdown in the aftermath of the pandemic, GDP growth has been positive for the last seven quarters.

He admitted that though the GDP slowed to 2.3 percent on a year-to-year basis in the third quarter of this year, but that it was a 9.7 percent increase over the second quarter.
“Apart from being the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria also has the continent’s largest economy, accounting for over 20% of continental GDP.

“The Nigerian private sector has undertaken large path-breaking investments in the country in agriculture, manufacturing, petrochemicals, finance, telecommunications and the digital economy.”
In terms of market viability, Prof. Osinbajo said that Nigeria continues to rank very high in terms of market stability, saying: “our people are renowned for being energetic and tech-savvy, with over 60% of the population below 25 years of age.”
In the tech space, The Vice President said that between 2015 and last year, six Nigerian tech-based companies have been certified as unicorns.

“These are companies valued at over a billion US dollars each.
“Nigeria is also now home to over 200 stand-alone FinTech companies, plus a number of FinTech solutions offered by banks and mobile network operators as part of their product portfolio. Between 2014 and 2019, Nigeria’s bustling FinTech segment raised over $600 million in funding and attracted a quarter of the almost $500 million raised by African tech startups in 2019 alone.”
“The creative sector which employs over 4 million people and has the potential to add 2.7 million by 2025, is ranked the second largest employer of labour after the agricultural sector.
“We are on course to become the 3rd largest national market, based on headcount by the year 2050. We are already the largest financial market in Africa with a market capitalization in excess of US$50 billion as of the end of last year.”
The Vice President told President Phuc about his engagements in Hanoi and restated that there is great potential for stronger and more fruitful collaborations between Vietnam and Nigeria.
“Building on our friendship, we are looking forward to a greater number of Vietnamese investments in Nigeria and Africa by extension.”
He re-emphasized the advantage of Nigeria’s membership of AfCFTA, saying: “Nigeria offers one of the best investment destinations in Africa, some of the best investment conditions in Africa because, among other things, Nigeria is the gateway to Africa.
“We believe that if Vietnam investments come into Nigeria, it will have the potential of penetrating the gates of West Africa and the entire continent.”
The Vice President identified areas of investments for the Vietnamese business community to include renewable energy, solar power plants (in furtherance of international agreements to reduce gas emission by 20%) and telecommunications, noting that “Nigeria is a fantastic opportunity for investment.”
This was even as President Phuc said: “we appreciate  the gesture of you coming from Africa based on our cherished friendship and partnership.”
He assured Osinbajo that further discussions would be held on the aspirations of Vietnamese entrepreneurs investing in Nigeria, especially in the areas of agriculture, technology, telecommunications, oil and gas, among others.
President Phuc said that rice production is one of the strengths of the country, and that collaboration between both countries can enhance Nigeria’s rice production capacity.
The President said that the outcome of the interactions has been good, adding: “we have reached a consensus on many issues; we have a lot of potentials to explore.”

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