The Nigerian economy is one of the world’s least competitive, and currently ranks 127th out of 138 economies globally, a 2016-2017 report by the World Economic Forum, says.
In the 2015-2016 edition of the Global Competitive Index, Nigeria ranked 124th out of 140 countries.
The latest ranking means the country slipped five places when measured by the relative number of countries each year.
In this year’s ranking, Mauritius, which is placed at 45th position, takes the lead among sub-Saharan African countries, followed by South Africa and Rwanda, ranked 47th and 52nd, respectively.
Switzerland, Singapore and the United States remain the three world’s most competitive economies.
The report, released on Wednesday, classifies Botswana as one of the fastest rising economies, in league with India, Jamaica, and Mexico.
The southern African country moved seven steps upward, from the 71st position it occupied in 2015 to 64th position in the latest ranking, while India moved up 16 steps from 55th to 39th.
Botswana, the world’s largest producer of diamonds, is reputed to be one of the most stable countries in Africa.
Nigeria’s neighbour, Ghana, is ranked 114.
Other West African countries that are ranked higher than Nigeria are: Côte d’Ivoire, 99th; Gabon, Cape Verde, 110th; 108th; Senegal, 112nd; Gambia, 123rd; Benin Republic, 124th; and Mali, 125th;
Nigeria only fared better in this year’s ranking than a few African countries like Madagascar (128th), Congo Democratic Republic (129th), Liberia (131th), and Chad (136th).
Yemen, with its 138th position, is at the bottom of the ranking.
Top 10 most competitive economies in the world, according to the report, are:
3. United States
7. United Kingdom
9. Hong Kong SAR
The report says the WEF calculates the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) using a combination of 114 indicators “that capture concept that matter for productivity and long-term prosperity”.
“These indicators are grouped into 12 pillars – institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.
“These pillars are in turn organized into three subindexes: basic requirements, efficiency enhancers, and innovation and sophistication factors. The three subindexes are given different weights in the calculation of the overall Index, depending on each economy’s stage of development, as proxied by its GDP per capita and the share of exports represented by raw materials.”
The WEF also uses statistical data from notable organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, UNESCO, and World Health Organization to calculate the GCI.
The WEF explained the significance of the annual Global Competitiveness Report.
“The Global Competitiveness Report, published since 1979, aims to serve as a neutral and objective tool for governments, the private sector, and civil society to work together on effective public-private collaboration to boost future prosperity.
“By benchmarking each year’s progress on different factors and institutions that matter for future growth, the Report keeps competitiveness on the public agenda, provides a focal point for the discussion of long-term competitiveness policies, and helps to keep stakeholders accountable.”