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Comments Off on How Nigeria’s economy grew by 89%

How Nigeria’s economy grew by 89%

Posted by | May 17, 2014 | Nigeria jobs, Uncategorized

                                            South Africa was Africa’s largest economy. The IMF put its GDP at $354 billion last year, well ahead of its closest rival for the crown, Nigeria. By Sunday afternoon that had changed. Nigeria’s statistician-general announced that his country’s GDP for 2013 had been revised from 42.4 trillion naira to 80.2 trillion naira ($509 billion). The estimated income of the average indi went from less than $1,500 a year to $2,688 in a trice. How can an economy grow by almost 90% overnight?

                                           Nigeria has a deserved reputation for corruption, so a sceptic might think the doubling of its economy a result of fiddling the numbers. In fact it is the old numbers that are dodgy. An economy’s real growth rate is typically measured by reference to prices in a base year. In Nigeria the reference year for the old estimate of GDP was 1990. The IMF recommends that base years be updated at least every five years. Nigeria left it far too long; as a result, its old GDP figures were hopelessly inaccurate.

                                               The new figures use 2010 as the base year. Why was the upgrade so big? To come up with an estimate of GDP, statisticians need to add together estimates of output from a sample of businesses in every part of the economy, from farming to service industries. The weight they give to each sector depends on its importance to the economy in the base year. A snapshot of Nigeria’s economy in 1990 gave little or no weight to fast-growing parts of the economy such as mobile telephony or the movie industry. At the time the state-owned telephone company had a few hundred thousand customers.

                                           Today the country has 120m mobile-phone subscriptions. On the old 1990 figures, the telecoms sector was less than 1% of GDP; it is now almost 9% of GDP. Motion pictures had not shown up at all in the old figures, but the industry’s size is now put at 1.4% of GDP. Nigeria’s number-crunchers have improved the gathering of statistics in other ways. The old GDP figures were based on an estimate of output.

                                      The new figures are cross-checked against separate surveys of spending and income. The sample on which the data are based has increased from around 85,000 establishments to 850,000. Only businesses with a fixed location are included: the traders who weave precariously between the traffic are not captured. Even so, many small businesses are now part of the GDP picture.


Comments Off on Interview of Indian Expat about Living In South Africa

Interview of Indian Expat about Living In South Africa

Posted by | April 8, 2014 | Uncategorized

Q: Where are you originally from?
A: Chennai, India

Q: Where are you living now?
A: Chennai, India

Q: How long did you live in Johannesburg?
A: Two years

Q: Did you move with a spouse/ children?
A: No

Q: Why did you move; what do you do?
A: I had come to Johannesburg on a deputation for a couple of years.

About your city

Q: What did you enjoy most about Johannesburg, how was the quality of life?
A: The most enjoyable thing about Joburg is it is cosmopolitan in nature. In particular, people from India would find lot of Indian flavours spread through the city.

Q: How did you meet other Indian expats?
A: I lived in an area where most of my colleagues who came on deputation lived. It was not an Indian area, however. Indian expats can mainly be found in Fordsburg and Indian Hindu temples (in Marlboro, Melrose, Benoni and Midrand ). Midrand is a place where many people from Andhra (a provincial state) in India live.

Q: What exactly are the Indian flavours you’re talking about?
A: There are quite a few Indian restaurants located around Joburg. These include Swad in Melrose, Thava and Shahi Khana in Norwood and Delhi Darbar in Parkmore – to name a few.

Q: Any negatives? What did you miss most about home?
A: Lack of safe public transport. One needs to own a car in Johannesburg to travel safely.

Q: Is the city safe?
A: It is kind of safe. One needs to follow the Dos and Dont’s.

Q: What are those?
A: Do:

  • Withdraw cash only from well-lit ATMs and where you feel safe.
  • Try to obtain chip-based cards from bank, as financial fraudulent activities are quite rampant.
  • Keep your car windows up at all times, but especially when stopping at traffic signals (traffic signals are referred as robots in South Africa).
  • Keep doors locked at all times. It is advisable to install a security gate at your front door.
  • Always be aware of what is happening around you and be alert.


  • Keep your luggage/purse/laptop near the driver seat or on the rear seats of the car where it is visible from outside.
  • Count cash in public.
  • Walk on the streets while using your mobile phone.

About living in Johannesburg

Q: Which are the best places/suburbs to live in Johannesburg as an expat?
A: Sandton, Morningside, Rivonia, Sunninghill, Parkmore, Roodeport, Weltevreden Park and Fourways.

Q: How do you rate the standard of accommodation?
A: Very good.

Q: What’s the cost of living compared to home? What is cheap or expensive in particular?
A: It is worth the money one pays for it.

Q: What are the locals like; did you mix mainly with other expats?
A: Locals are really hospitable. I lived with many Indians, so moved mainly in Indian expat circles.

Q: Was it easy meeting people and making friends? Did you make expat friends you wouldn’t have otherwise?
A: Yes, it was easy – South Africans are generally friendly, and making friends with locals is not a problem at all. Indian expats get connected very easily. On the flipside, especially in Joburg, there are a lot of Indian expats and you might feel overwhelmed by looking at the Indian expat population – you might be tempted to stick to little Indian groups living nearby or those you work with. Joburg has got a mix of Indian, European and African styles. A Indian expat would easily strike a balance between Indian and overseas living. Yes, I made few Indian connections here, whom I wouldn’t have met if I was working from India.

About working here

Q: Did you have a problem getting a work visa/permit?
A: Not really, my company had applied for my work permit, so I didn’t have difficulty getting a work permit or visa.

Q: What’s the economic climate like in Johannesburg, is there plenty of work?
A: When it comes to IT, there is lack of local skilled people. The economy is pretty decent and economically South Africa performed OK, although there were some retrenchments here and there. An Indian expat coming to South Africa would definitely feel that the infrastructure is really good and better than India. But I doubt an expat from Europe/ America would share the same feeling as I do.

Q: Are there other types of jobs that there are more of do you think? What jobs would you recommend other Indian expats come here to look for?
A: Information Technology is one of the areas where Indian expats can look for work. Like I said earlier, South Africa does not have enough skilled techies. Banking, shipping and mining would be next on the list.

Q: How does the work culture differ from home?
A: There isn’t really a competitive work culture due to the lack of a skilled work force. Knowledge and technological exposures are little low.

And finally…

Q: Is there any other advice you’d like to offer new expat arrivals?
A: Carry enough medicines back from home, as medicines are quite expensive and not easily available. Indian expats must bring electrical converters – 15 Amperes to 5 Amperes, pressure cooker, mixer/kitchen grinder to prepare masalas. Enough clothing should be taken, as it seems to be more expensive than India.