Building on the World Bank’s 2019 Systematic Country Diagnostic for Nigeria, this Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) argues that Nigeria is uniquely positioned for strong economic growth and should focus on a wider private sector-led growth strategy to leverage its considerable factor endowments and seize market opportunities. Nigeria is rich in agricultural and mineral resources. Its population of about 200 million people presents a huge market—the largest in Africa—for domestic production. In addition, a large segment of Nigeria’s labor force is young and entrepreneurial—5.3 million people entered the labor force in 2018 alone. Moreover, market access to other member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the wider African region offers opportunities to Nigeria’s private enterprises. Yet, Nigeria’s resource endowments and opportunities have not translated into sustained economic growth and shared prosperity for its citizens.
According to the CPSD, addressing the deficiencies stifling growth in Nigeria’s policy framework and its infrastructure would enable the Nigerian private sector to create millions of quality jobs for its rising population, mitigate Nigeria’s economic vulnerability by diversifying exports, and reduce inequality and instability by driving economic activity in underdeveloped regions. There is significant potential for accelerating growth and export diversification through increased private investment in sectors such as agribusiness, mining, manufacturing, and the digital economy.