Nigeria has become Africa’s biggest economy, leapfrogging South Africa, after the government announced a long-overdue rebasing of the country’s GDP.

The new calculations take into account changes in production and consumption since the last time the exercise was carried out in 1990 and indicated that the economy grew to $453-billion in 2012, instead of $264-billion as measured by the World Bank for that year.

South Africa’s economy was at $384-billion in 2012, according to the World Bank.

Estimates for 2013 indicated further expansion to $510-billion, Nigeria’s chief statistician, Yemi Kale, told a news conference in the capital, Abuja.

“Nigeria has moved to be the largest economy by GDP size in Africa and has moved to be the 26th largest economy in the world,” finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

“On a per capita basis, Nigeria is number 121 in the world. So, we have a total GDP size where we have moved up to 26th,” the former World Bank managing director added.

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