Daily Trust (Abuja)

6 October 2011

Nigeria: Survey Highlights Growth of Nation's Middle Class

Lagos — A survey and report on Nigeria's expanding middle class, issued by Renaissance Capital, reveals that the nation has a growing middle class that is optimistic about economic growth, values and entrepreneurship.

The report, authored by Renaissance Capital's Global Chief Economist Charles Robertson, Head of Sub-Saharan Research Nothando Ndebele and Sub-Saharan Economist Yvonne Mhango, turn the spotlight on the wealth of opportunity presented by one of the world's fastest-growing economies, as an expanding middle class fuels GDP growth in Nigeria.

The report draws out the investment opportunities and implications presented by Nigeria's rapidly growing middle class, against a favourable macroeconomic backdrop.

It notes that GDP rose fivefold from $46billion in 2000 to $247billionn in 2011, according to IMF estimates, while the population increased by more than one-third over the same period, from 119 million to 160 million.

And Nigeria's middle class accounts for about 23 percent of the Nigerian population, according to African Development Bank data.

The Renaissance Capital survey was conducted with 1,004 middle-class Nigerians, residing in the cities of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, 70 percent of whom were aged 40 or younger.

"The Nigerian middle class we surveyed has a monthly income of some $500 to $600 and nearly half will be buying fridges, freezers and other white goods, suggesting a consumer boom is under way. We cite the upside for consumer lending retail, white-goods retail, lifestyle and leisure, housing development and home improvement," says Charles Robertson.

Average monthly income is in the range of N75, 000 to N100,000 ($480-645, or roughly $6,000-7,000 per annum) the study estimated.

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