When the press in Nigeria has to ponder the worst-case-scenario, they know how to conjure it instantly. All you need is a rhetorical question: Is Nigeria the Next Venezuela?

Read it and weep…

It was a comparison that we remained concerned about this year because you had the government with an official rate of two hundred naira to the dollar and an unofficial rate of about three hundred and there was talk of introducing another rate and it all ended up with a number of different rates and that was where Venezuela began in 2003, with capital controls they have had over four rates for their currency. They meant well in Venezuela, the government wanted to help the poor, they were trying to use oil generated revenue to support the impoverished in the society and they ended up in very high inflation, the economy in chaos, shortages, and it has been a disaster in the end. That was our concern that Nigeria was heading down that road some months ago.

Two years ago, it was the premise for a Chigüire Bipolar story. Now it’s real.

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  1. “The petroleum industry in Nigeria is the largest on the African continent. As of 2014, Nigeria’s petroleum industry contributes about 14% to its economy. Therefore, though the petroleum sector is important, it remains in fact a small part of the country’s overall diversified economy.”

    That’s one big difference with Venezuela. Even Nigeria managed to diversify, and produce other things than oil.

    Some other facts:

    .Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa”, owing to its large population and economy.[8] With approximately 184 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has one of the largest populations of youth in the world.[9][10] The country is viewed as a multinational state, as it is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba; these ethnic groups speak over 500 different languages, and are identified with wide variety of cultures.[11][12] The official language is English. Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Christians, who live mostly in the southern part of the country, and Muslims in the northern part. A minority of the population practise religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to Igbo and Yoruba peoples.

    As of 2015, Nigeria is the world’s 20th largest economy, worth more than $500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively. It overtook South Africa to become Africa’s largest economy in 2014.[13][14] Also, the debt-to-GDP ratio is only 11 percent, which is 8 percent below the 2012 ratio.[15][16] Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank;[17] It has been identified as a regional power on the African continent,[16][18][19] a middle power in international affairs,[20][21][22][23] and has also been identified as an emerging global power.[24][25][26] Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are widely seen as the globe’s next “BRIC-like” economies. It is also listed among the “Next Eleven” economies set to become among the biggest in the world. Nigeria is a founding member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the African Union, OPEC, and the United Nations amongst other international organisations.”

    So comparing Venezuela to Nigeria is not that obvious. Many differences.


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