Many of those who have witnessed Nigeria’s growth and development over the past decade are beginning to ask if it really can become a G-20 power.
The G-20 group of governments and central banks represents the world's most economically developed countries. The group formed in 1999 when Canada’s then Prime Minister, Paul Martin, suggested it would be advantageous for the most influential countries to come together to discuss the international financial system. The G-20 includes many developing countries alongside the world’s superpowers and economic leaders.
The group accounts for approximately 85% of the world’s GDP and 80% of world trade. Africa is already represented by way of the African Union, a permanent guest invitee, in addition to South Africa.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and has the fastest growing economy; it has recently passed South Africa in terms of gross domestic product and is becoming an important global economy. The strength of Nigeria's economy within the continent has increased hugely in recent years and when compared with South Africa has a good case for inclusion in the group.
Also Read: Africa haircare a multi-billion dollar industry
According to latest data, South Africa’s GDP is $623.201 billion, which ranks it 25th in the world. Nigeria’s GDP is ahead, at $1.018 trillion, ranking the country at 19th. It is hard to argue against Nigeria becoming a G-20 member when it is ranked five places ahead of SA in terms of GDP and is the largest economy in Africa.
Nigeria has an abundant supply of natural resources along with a very well developed economy and thriving financial, legal, communications and transport sectors. Nigeria also has a stock exchange, which is ranked 30th in the world in terms of GDP (PPP).
The country is a huge exporter of oil and is currently America’s fifth most important oil trading partner. Globally it is the twelfth largest petroleum producer and the eighth largest exporter. It has huge reserves too and will be self-sufficient for the foreseeable future. Nigeria has been rated as a Global Growth Generator country (also known as 3G countries).
The government has developed its own space agency, the Nigerian Space Agency, which has already launched four satellites, the most recent being a dedicated communications satellite. Each of them is designed to help improve Nigeria’s economy
Also Read:Nigeria to become a major economic force
Nigeria has a thriving commercial community, so much so that several highly successful entrepreneurs have set up organizations to help others learn business skills; philanthropy is on the increase too. One business leader, Tunde Folawiyo, who heads up a group of industries in the country, has even branched out into the travel sector. The increased wealth of many Nigerians has resulted in a rise in foreign travel; read Tunde Folawiyo's travel blog to learn more about the many places that can be easily reached from Nigeria.
Nigeria is growing rapidly and the fact that it has overtaken South Africa as the largest economy in Africa shows that it is well set on its way to becoming the most important country in the continent. It really should be able to join the Group of Twenty and take its place among the most important economies in the world.
If the country is invited into the G-20 it is likely to result in even more rapid growth, which in turn should give rise to improvements in social welfare. Nigeria is definitely ready to make this step into the global arena.