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Nigeria: Brief Economic Background

Nigeria is not only Sub-Saharan Africa's most populous nation, it is also its largest oil producer, ranking #14 world wide for production and #10 for reserves. Bony Light, its benchmark oil is regarded as one of the world's premier oils, given its low density and low sulphur content (Light Sweet).

Economically, the country ranks about 40th World Wide with a GDP of $235Bn, around the same size as Portugal and Israel, with real economic growth between 2000 and 2010 of 8%. Merril Lynch Forecast growth of 7% a year between 2013 and 2017 inclusive

Recent civilian Governments, including the current Government of President Goodluck Jonathan, have tried to improve the way the oil wealth is used, and have attempted to modernize the economy. Since 2008, it has pushed through a series of reforms that have dramatically improved the investment climate, from a more modern banking infrastructure, to more transparent rules, and a much lower tolerance of corruption. Firms like MTN, the South Africa based Cellular provider, talk openly about the successes and the profits they have enjoyed in Nigeria.

Again, according to Merrill Lynch, it is the largest single recipient of Foreign Direct Investment into Sub-Saharan Africa, taking 20% of the continental total. As a result of these initiatives, Nigeria has rapidly become a core market within the Frontier group, and is being favorably compared to Brazil 10 - 15 years ago.