Fact check: How true is Femi Fani-Kayode’s claim that Nigeria is no longer among top 10 biggest economies in Africa?

Fact check: How true is Femi Fani-Kayode’s claim that Nigeria is no longer among top 10 biggest economies in Africa?

Nigeria’s former minister of aviation and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Femi Fani Kayode, tweeted on Tuesday, November 27, that Nigeria is no longer among the top 10 biggest economies in Africa.

He boasted that under the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria had “the biggest economy in Africa”. The former minister, however, lamented that “Today we are not in the top 10!”.

He went on to list the countries that are the top ten biggest economies in Africa, according to his findings.

READ ALSO: Fact check: How true is the claim that Buhari is dead and replaced with a lookalike?

How accurate are these claims made by the PDP chieftain? Legit.ng verifies the claims:

Claim 1: Nigeria had the biggest economy in Africa under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan

In April 2014, Nigeria overtook South Africa as Africa's largest economy after a rebasing calculation almost doubled its gross domestic product to more than $500bn, Aljazeera reported, citing data from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Former president Jonathan served as the president of Nigeria from 2010 to 2015.

Thus, the claim that Nigeria became the biggest economy under his administration is ACCURATE.

Claim 2: Under President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s economy has slipped and is no more among the top 10 in Africa

Fani-Kayode further claimed that Nigeria’s economy which became the biggest under former president Jonathan in 2014 has slipped so badly that it is no longer among the top 10 in Africa.

According to his Twitter post, Ghana has become the biggest economy in Africa, followed by Ethiopia and Cote d'Ivoire – even South Africa is no longer among the top three biggest African economies.


Based on Forbes Magazine's latest report, December 2017, Nigeria is still the biggest economy in Africa.

Nigeria, according to Forbes, has a GDP of $405bn with a GDP growth rate of 1.6%. Egypt is in the second spot with $332bn GDP and GDP growth rate of 4.3% while South Africa occupies the third spot with South Africa with a GDP $295bn and GDP growth rate of 0.3%.

Thus, going by the Forbe’s latest ranking, the claim by Fani-Kayode that Nigeria is no longer among the top 10 biggest economies in Africa is FALSE.

Further clarification

Considering the countries and the figures tweeted by the former minister, the list presented in the tweet resembles that of the World Bank’s “Real GDP growth at market prices in percent” in the document titled Global Economic Prospects: Economic outlook for the Sub-Saharan Africa region which was published in January 2018.

Fact check: Is Nigeria no longer among top 10 biggest economies in Africa?
World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects published in January 2018.
Source: UGC

Perhaps, Fani-Kayode copied the data from a tweet on Sunday, November 25 (two days before Fani-Kayode’s tweet) by Fela Durotoye, the presidential candidate of the ANN.

While Durotoye in his own tweet stated “Top 10 Fastest Growing Economies in Africa in 2018 (according to the World Bank & IMF)”, Fani-Kayode erroneously appropriated the tweet to men to top ten economies.

Meanwhile, the IMF data quoted by Durotoye seems also to have been updated. According to the latest data by IMF, Ethiopia has been projected to overtake Ghana as Africa’s fastest growing economy. Below is the updated list by the IMF:

1. Ethiopia (7.5%)

2. Ivory Coast (7.4%)

3. Rwanda (7.2%)

4. Senegal (7%)

5. Djibouti (6.7%)

6. Ghana (6.3%)

7. Benin (6%)

8. Burkina Faso (5.9%)

9. Tanzania (5.8%)

10. Niger (5.3%)

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Source: Legit.ng

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