Shraddha Nangare

Country Expert

Nigeria Statistics

The economy of Nigeria is a middle-income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding manufacturing, financial, service, communications, technology and entertainment sectors.
It is ranked as the 27th-largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP, and the 24th-largest in terms of purchasing power parity. Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa.
$ 1 crores
GDP in USD trillion
1 crores
Population (2019)
Area ( km. sq. )
Import Of Nigeria

In 2018 Nigeria imported a total of $48.7B, making it the number 53rd trade destination in the world.
Main Import Countries

Export Of Nigeria

In 2018 Nigeria exported a total of $59.5B, making it the number 50th exporter in the world.
Main Export Countries

Major Sectors

Tourism Petroleum Agriculture Mining Energy

One of the key foreign exchange earning industries in Nigeria is the country’s tourism industry. The country’s diverse landscape and wildlife make it a prime tourist destination in West Africa. The southern part of the country consists of sandy beaches and tropical jungles. The forests of the Yankari National Park are home to herds of elephants which are a rare spectacle in a country where elephants are critically endangered. However, the tourist attractions can also be found in the country’s major cities. As an example, Lagos has large modern-park known as Millennium Park which is an important tourist attraction in the city.
The nightlife experienced in many of Nigeria’s largest cities is another tourist attraction. The country’s entertainment industry has produced celebrity musicians and actors who have millions of fans from all corners of the world. Therefore, local concerts where these musicians perform draw in thousands of international tourists. The government of Nigeria knows the importance of the country’s tourism industry and has established a ministry, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and National Orientation whose mandate is to develop the industry. The ministry which is allocated a hefty budget is focused on marketing the innumerable tourist attraction sites in the country to foreign and local tourist markets.

The largest and most economically important industry in Nigeria is the country’s petroleum industry. The country is among the top ten largest producers of oil globally and has the largest oil producer in the continent. Crude oil and petroleum products are the country’s chief export commodities which account for over 98% of the country’s annual exports. Oil exports generate an estimated 14% of Nigeria’s GDP and are responsible for about 83% of the government’s revenue. The prominence of the petroleum industry in Nigeria is evident on the immense oil deposits found in the country which are estimated to be over 16 billion barrels. Some sources have the proven oil deposits in the country to be as high as 35 billion barrels. Oil was discovered in the country in the 1950s, but the history of oil exploration in the country goes back to the turn of the 20th Century. The bulk of the oil produced in the country is sourced from the Niger Delta region. The huge oil deposits found in the region has attracted giant multinationals to the country including Royal Dutch Shell whose oil production in Nigeria represents 50% of the country’s total production. Other companies which have a presence in the country’s petroleum industry include Agip, Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, and Total.

Agriculture is one of the most dominant industries in Nigeria and accounts for an estimated 18% of the country’s GDP. The industry is also an important source of employment for millions of Nigerians as it employs about 30% of the country’s labour force. Most of the country’s agricultural production is carried out in the southern part of Nigeria which has ideal climatic conditions for agriculture. The northern part of the country is largely dry and primarily supports herding of livestock. Poor policies and lack of government willpower have in the past crippled the agricultural industry in Nigeria. The industry nearly grounded to a halt in the years which followed the Nigerian Civil War, and the majority of the population relied on food imports.

The mining of minerals in Nigeria accounts for only 0.3% of its GDP, due to the influence of its vast oil resources. The domestic mining industry is underdeveloped, leading to Nigeria having to import minerals that it could produce domestically, such as salt or iron ore. Rights to ownership of mineral resources is held by the Federal government of Nigeria, which grants titles to organizations to explore, mine, and sell mineral resources. Organized mining began in 1903 when the Mineral Survey of the Northern Protectorates was created by the British colonial government. A year later, the Mineral Survey of the Southern Protectorates was founded. By the 1940s, Nigeria was a major producer of tin, columbite, and coal. The discovery of oil in 1956 hurt the mineral extraction industries, as government and industry both began to focus on this new resource.

Nigeria's primary energy consumption was about 108 Mtoe in 2011. Most of the energy comes from traditional biomass and waste, which account for 83% of total primary production. The rest is from fossil fuels (16%) and hydropower (1%).
Nigeria has oil reserves of about 35 billion barrels (5.6×109 m3) and gas reserves of about 5 trillion cubic meters, ranking 10th and 9th in the world, respectively. Global production in 2009 reached 29 billion barrels (4.6×109 m3) of oil and 3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Nigeria is a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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