With the growth rate of 7.5 per cent per annum and all other things being equal, Nigeria’s economy may overtake those of United Kingdom and France on or before 2050, a UK-based Nigerian lecturer, Dr. Gbenga Oduntan has said.
Dr. Oduntan, who lectures at Kent University, UK, spoke yesterday in Abuja at a special lecture commemorating this year’s World Space Week put together in Nigeria by the National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA).
He said with the speed with which the Nigerian economy is cruising, it is a matter of time before it overtakes UK which is going at a snail speed of 0.3 per annum, adding that the statistics from UK and other European scholars (economists) also suggested that Nigeria is progressing economically faster than most Western economies.
“Those that continually say most Nigerians live below $1 per day may not be right because majority of (poor) Nigerians still recharge their phones with at least N100 airtime almost on a daily basis or at least once in a week,” the don said.
“I don’t think someone who lives below $1 per day would be able to eat and still recharge his phone. That statistic is implausible,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria’s market is huge for almost everything and that make its economic growth unstoppable.
“The country also has a very large young population more than the UK and France and that make its prospect for growth even brighter,” said Dr. Oduntan.
The don, who is an expert in space technology, development and law, also said if the country’s policy makers could use the ‘Leapfrog Theory’ by investing heavily on outer space activities, ICT and science, the country would be at par with the Asian Tigers in just few years time. He said the $20 million Nigeria spends on space technology might be too small because some countries invest about $200 billion on it.