Supporting economic transformation in Nigeria

Briefing papers
May 2016
Dirk Willem te Velde, David Booth, Danny Leipziger and Ebere Uneze

Nigeria has enjoyed fast economic growth over the past decade but, compared with other large oil exporters and many other African countries, it has experienced little economic transformation and has seen low-quality growth. Now, with oil prices down significantly, and weak growth, new areas of economic growth need to be identified. Business-as-usual will not safeguard productive jobs for the future and will not reduce poverty significantly. This is a cul-de-sac. Promoting quality growth and economic transformation is crucial. But how can this be done?

This paper addresses that question, drawing on a combination of economic analysis, to identify potential areas for action, and political-economy assessment, to clarify the conditions under which such action may be able to succeed. We draw on relevant international experience, especially from large countries that have managed to transform the structure of their economies, as well as on the record of economic policy reform in Nigeria to date.

Written by Nigerian and international experts, the paper draws on international experience from large developing countries that have managed to transform the structure of their economies, as well as the record of economic transformation and economic policy in Nigeria to date, to chart a way forward for Nigeria’s economic transformation efforts.