First Anniversary: Ghana Overtakes Nigeria in Wealth, Says Bismark Rewane

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Bismarck Rewane, the Managing Director and CEO of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, has revealed that Nigeria has dropped from being the 32nd largest economy in the world to the 42nd. Furthermore, Nigeria has fallen from its position as the wealthiest nation in Africa to fourth place.

Rewane highlighted that Ghana has now surpassed Nigeria in economic terms. He stated, “In the past, we were always richer than Ghana, now we are here. External reserves and GDP figures speak for themselves.”

Rewane, who is part of President Bola Tinubu’s Economic Management Team Emergency Taskforce (EET), made these remarks during an economic assessment marking Tinubu’s first year in office. He appeared on Channels Television to present his economic scorecard, categorizing Nigeria’s performance into the good, bad, and ugly based on current metrics.

He noted that while the economic indicators look challenging, there is potential for improvement in Nigeria’s economy. “Our ranking among African countries has declined. Last year, our GDP growth was 2.98 percent; South Africa was 1.93 percent, Kenya four percent, and Ghana 3.8 percent. Inflation was 33 percent for us, five percent for South Africa, five percent for Kenya, and 25 percent for Ghana. Our GDP per capita is $1,111, while South Africa’s is $6,700, Kenya’s is $2,000, and Ghana’s is $2,200. External reserves as a percentage of GDP illustrate a tough picture.”

He pointed out that significant policy changes announced in 2023, including the goal to reach a $1 trillion GDP, faced delays in their effects and had unintended social consequences. “There’s a cost of living crisis in Nigeria, and minimum wage negotiations are a source of widespread conflict. The wrong sequencing of reforms is taking its toll on output. Nigerians and Nigeria need new borrowing to refinance existing obligations, and policy changes, institutional reforms, and new borrowings are expected to lead to positive and faster growth from 2025 to 2026.”

Rewane identified both structural and external challenges affecting Nigeria’s economy. Structural issues include rent-seeking, market structure problems, an energy crunch (with only 4,000 MW of power), regulatory bottlenecks, declining labor productivity, and demographic pressures like urbanization. External shocks include the COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chain disruptions, political tensions, high global interest rates, transit developments, the cost of living crisis, wage agitation, and social unrest.

Reviewing President Tinubu’s promises and policies after a year in office, Rewane noted: “The first promise President Tinubu made was to increase GDP to $1 trillion in eight years. Before then, our GDP was almost $400 billion, so he aimed to double it in eight years. He removed petroleum subsidies, unified exchange rates, promised to overhaul the security infrastructure, and also promised to double power generation from 5,000 MW to 10,000 MW in five years, which means an increase of 1,250 MW every year. Additionally, he promised to bring inflation under control. These were the promises, policies, and announcements.”

The Presidential Economic Coordination Council (PECC), chaired by President Tinubu, comprises distinguished leaders and key government officials working towards these ambitious economic goals.

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