Ghana and Nigeria seems to have bucked the trend on rebasing their economy. The effect as widely expected is a renewed interest in the country for Foreign Direct Investments. So, it’s no wonder pundits are asking other countries to grab the baton from Nigeria and go ahead to rebase their economy. Now, no other than the Carlos Lopes, the executive secretary of the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
He was quoted in an article as saying the recent rebasing of Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP), which saw the country emerge as the largest economy in Africa, “has important implications for the rest of the continent… and raises the question whether there are other African economies with a systematically underestimated GDP”.
“As shown by Nigeria’s case, it is crucial for African countries to regularly rebase and re-benchmark their GDP figures, considering current lists in the basket of products and activities that better capture the size, structure, and trends of economy. It is also important that countries use the same classification and methodologies for better cross-country comparisons and regional integration.”
Lopes said that using a recent base year and applying the 2008 System of National Accounts (2008 SNA) – the international statistical standard for national accounts adopted by the UN Statistical Commission – “implies that the price structure is more representative of the economy”. Also, a wider basket of products and activities are considered when national accounts are calculated.
A more diverse economy and a strengthening consumer base, as seen in Nigeria, is “expected to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI)”, ECA said.