Nigeria’s regional economic integration growing, says Visa

Global payment company, Visa, has declared that economic integration between Nigeria and countries at regional level is witnessing appreciable improvement. This was the outcome of a Visa Africa Integration Index, VAII, study, unveiled in Lagos yesterday.

The index measures the degree of economic integration within key trade corridors of sub-Sahara Africa, including West Africa, East Africa and South Africa.

The study carried out over a three-year period, in conjunction with a Visiting Professor of Economics at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, GIBS, Johannesburg, Prof Adrian Saville, offers a detailed analysis of key country clusters in sub-Saharan African, revealing strengths and areas of growth potential. The 11 countries studies include Nigeria and Ghana, for West Africa; Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania for East Africa; and South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia in the Southern Africa.

The 11 constituent countries are highly representative of the region, with a combined population of 437 million people or 55 per cent of the total population at the end of 2012, with Trade, Capital, Information and People, TCIP, used as key metrics in measuring integration According to the study Nigeria, the second largest economic Africa, has an integration score of 40.6 at the end of 2012 on the Visa Africa Integration Index, improving from 37.7 at the start of 2011.

“The gain reflects greater regional integration; though Nigeria’s global integration has remained static over the same period.” Commenting on the index, Visa Country Manager for West Africa, Mr. Ade Asaye, said while the country’s levels of regional integration still are relatively low, Nigeria is likely to be one of the key drivers of integration in Africa and one of the primary forces of African integration with the rest of the world.

“While the Nigerian economy is diversifying, aided by an increasing number of Nigerian multinationals emerging and expanding across the continent, Nigerians themselves will be the true catalyst of integration, which is evident in the improving depth of the people component,” he said.

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