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Brain Exports: Growing the Nigerian Economy

What is Nigeria’s best development path towards prosperity given its unique circumstances and position in the world today? How can Nigeria achieve global superpower status in about 10-20 years? These are the guiding thoughts behind this paper. We recommend placing Nigerians in high-end Global Value Chains (GVCs).

This position became apparent after evaluating relevant trends impacting today’s global business landscape. We envisage that Nigeria participating in GVCs will make the country more prosperous.


Nigeria already has a large diaspora, and the wealth of young talent in Nigeria are strong assets that give the country an edge. Nigeria’s target markets will primarily be Europe and North America.


Over the next five years, Nigeria can work towards inserting people with a broad range of skills into GVCs. The table below is a simple example to paint a clear picture. The Philippines and India each have a call centre workforce of ~1.3 million and we believe Nigeria can achieve at least 200,000 (15% of global leaders) in five years. We estimate that 25,000 Brain Exports each in five years (25% of the call centre workforce) is achievable for medium-skill opportunities like animation and gaming. However, high-value opportunities like programming and software development need special attention and Nigeria can produce as many as 1.5 million of these in the next five years. The programmer target is in line with capturing 17% of the software development jobs expected to hit the market in the next ten years.



Contact us

Andrew S. Nevin

Andrew S. Nevin

Partner & Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria

Tel: +234 1 271 1700

Chiwueze  Ihebuzor

Chiwueze Ihebuzor

Senior Manager, PwC Nigeria

Tel: +234 (1) 271 1700

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