Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vision 2020 dreams and realities

If Nigeria's Vision 2020 included a top 20 place in the all-important indicator of GDP per capita rankings (all important from the perspective of the citizen, rather than the state), a 2008 baseline would give the following initial rankings:

  • IMF: 127
  • World Bank: 120
  • CIA Factbook: 135
In fact, Vision 2020 has a GDP per capita target of 'not less than US$4000'. Altogether a more modest and perhaps realistic goal.

Expressed as a ranking for 2008, this GDP per capita target would place Nigeria as follows:
  • IMF: 94
  • World Bank: 85
  • CIA Factbook: 103
The trouble is, apart from the obvious issue of 11 years of inflation reducing the value of US$4000 in today's terms, by 2020, many of those countries with higher than US$4000 average annual income at present will have experienced disaggregated growth, as will those countries whose citizens earn more than US$1500 per year (the approx figure for Nigeria today). With 4.5 million entrants onto the job market each year and a rapidly rising population (projected to be 300 million by 2050), its difficult to see how the Vision 2020 per capita income goals could therefore be achieved, even given that they are a modest target. All of which is to say, by 2020, the majority of Nigerians will likely remain as poor as they are today.


Anonymous,  4:51 am  

Jeremy, your understanding of the so-called Vision 20-2020 appears flawed And I employ the phrase 'so-called' since there is no real indication to denote that the govt is actually serious about this aspiration or that it grasps what same would entail. Nevertheless, the expressed goal is to make the Nigerian economy ONE OF THE BIGGEST 20 AS MEASURED BY QUANTUM AGGREGATE -- not by GDP. In other words, while Nigeria's GNP would be it among the 20 biggest, Nigeria's huge (and growing) population would still confine it to economic also-rans.

Jeremy 4:10 pm  

Dear anonymous. I am highly aware that the expressed goal of Vision2020 is aggregated - ie of no significance for ordinary non-kleptocratic Nigerians. That was the point of my post - to show that Vision 2020 is already a meaningless enterprise, from the perspective of the Nigerian in-the-street...

Dapxin 6:16 pm  

all of that
to reach this conclusion ?
"All of which is to say, by 2020, the majority of Nigerians will likely remain as poor as they are today." ?

Msxweeeh!, next ?

Anonymous,  7:32 am  

The greatest hindrance to perceivable economic growth in Nigeria is the 3.3% annual population increase. This is simply unsustainable. I would like to be informed of a low-income country that has achieved significant economic growth in its recent history, while shouldering the burden of an exponential increase in population. In my opinion, this is highly implausible, except such a country manages to churn out an annual corresponding 10 to 15 % GDP growth per year.

It is well and fine that the Nigerian government speaks about economic development but, let’s face it, there will be little perceivable development. The economy grows on average by 4 to 6% annually (probably lower in this era of global recession) but the burgeoning population growth only ensures that more people (in absolute terms) drift into poverty.

Nigeria currently has about 160 million inhabitants. This, in my opinion, is enough. There needs to be a policy to control this growth (I might have stepped on a sensitive political area here). Nigeria has a limited landmass albeit rich in natural resources. When one thinks that in 25 years time there will be about 300 million people in Nigeria, it indeed becomes scary.

Being amongst the 20 biggest economies in the world isn’t enough. Nigeria will undoubtedly get there, with or without a dedicated government policy. Its huge population will ensure that. The question becomes what the per capita (or perceivable) growth will be and what needs to be done to raise the ‘real’ GDP per capita to about 10,000 USD from the 1,5000 USD of today.


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