Nigeria’s GDP projected to reach 2014 level of $552 billion by 2031- Report 

Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to reach $552 billion by 2031 according to research by Afrexim Bank.  

The projected 2031 GDP for Nigeria falls around the country’s 2014 GDP of $574 billion according to the World Bank mirroring the decline in the past years.  

This was disclosed in the 2024 Africa Trade Report published by the African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim Bank).  

The GDP forecasts for African countries in 2031 according to the report were based on country-level growth estimates published by the International Monetary Fund.

Researchers updated the database with these estimated GDP values using Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) Adjust, a software program developed by the Center for Policy Studies.  

According to the report, Nigeria will still fall behind Egypt as the biggest economy in the continent with the North African nation projected to have a GDP of $612 billion in 2031. 

The GDP projection for 2031 is a dent in President Tinubu’s target of a $1 trillion economy by 2026 and growing the economy to $3 trillion by the end of the current decade which he conveyed during the 2023 NESG summit. 

According to the World Bank, Nigeria’s GDP as of 2023 stood at $362 billion- slightly below the figure for 2010 at $366 billion.

In the decade before 2014, Nigeria witnessed average annual GDP growth of 6.8% according to the IMF and was able to weather the global financial crisis of 2008 largely unscathed.  

However, in the decade between 2014 and 2024, the country has seen two recessions, a decline in oil production and become susceptible to global macroeconomic shocks.

This culminated in the dethronement of the country as Africa’s biggest economy in 2024 according to the latest projection from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  

In 2013, following the rebasing of the economy, the country ascended to the throne of Africa’s biggest economy, leading experts to call for a new rebasing exercise.

The CEO of Chapel Hill Denham, Mr. Bolaji Balogun, had earlier posited that the country’s economy is closer to $600 billion than the figures being posted.

He based his argument on population growth and the ever-growing informal sector activities which are not captured in the formal economy. 

Reason for the current decline in GDP 

A slew of factors has been attributed as reasons for the country’s decline in GDP. The significant devaluation of the Naira is majorly responsible for Nigeria’s falling to third place, trailing behind Egypt with a GDP of $394 billion and South Africa with a GDP of $378 billion.  

By 2024, further devaluation of both the Nigerian Naira and the Egyptian Pound is expected to diminish the economic standings of Nigeria and Egypt, allowing South Africa to emerge as Africa’s largest economy. 

Since President Bola Tinubu assumed office in 2023, the official exchange rate of the Nigerian Naira has plummeted by almost 100%, resulting in a substantial negative impact on the country’s GDP calculation. 

According to IMF estimates, Nigeria’s GDP in US dollars fell from $477 billion in 2022 to $375 billion in 2023 and is projected to decline further to $253 billion in 2024.  

To achieve the $3 trillion economy by the end of the decade and disprove this projection, Nigeria’s economy would have to grow by double-digits in the coming years.

Nigeria’s economy grew by 2.74% in 2023 and it’s expected to expand by 3.3% according to the IMF although it posted a growth rate of 2.98% in Q1, 2024. 


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