Following an April 2014 statistical “rebasing” exercise, Nigeria has emerged as Africa’s largest economy, with 2015 GDP estimated at $1.1 trillion. Oil has been a dominant source of income and government revenues since the 1970s. Following the 2008-9 global financial crises, the banking sector was effectively recapitalized and regulation enhanced. Nigeria’s economic growth over the last five years has been driven by growth in agriculture, telecommunications, and services. Economic diversification and strong growth have not translated into a significant decline in poverty levels, however – over 62% of Nigeria’s 170 million people still live in extreme poverty.
Despite its strong fundamentals, oil-rich Nigeria has been hobbled by inadequate power supply, lack of infrastructure, delays in the passage of legislative reforms, an inefficient property registration system, restrictive trade policies, an inconsistent regulatory environment, a slow and ineffective judicial system, unreliable dispute resolution mechanisms, insecurity, and pervasive corruption. Regulatory constraints and security risks have limited new investment in oil and natural gas, and Nigeria’s oil production has contracted every year since 2012.
Because of lower oil prices, GDP growth in 2015 fell to around 3%, and government revenues declined, while the nonoil sector also contracted due to economic policy uncertainty. President BUHARI, elected in March 2015, has established a cabinet of economic ministers that includes several technocrats, and he has announced plans to increase transparency, diversify the economy away from oil, and improve fiscal management. The government is working to develop stronger public-private partnerships for roads, agriculture, and power. The medium-term outlook for Nigeria is positive, assuming oil output stabilizes and oil prices recover.
Nigeria was designated as AGOA Eligible Country on October 2nd 2000. Nigeria has been declared eligible for Apparel Provision on July 14th 2004 and benefits the Lesser Developed Country Special Rule for Apparel (3rd country fabric) and Lesser Developed Country Rule for Certain Textile Articles (Category 0) as well as Category 9 Textile Products (Handloomed / Handmade, folklore annex, ethnic printed fabrics).