House of Commons Library

Nigeria: MINT-ed?

Published Thursday, January 9, 2014

Jim O’Neill, the economist who first coined the term ‘BRICS’ in 2001, has announced that Nigeria (along with Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey [acronym: MINT) could become one of the next emerging ‘economic giants’. Yet there remain grounds for wondering whether Mr O’Neill’s view is overly rose-tinted. In sharp contrast to him, some recent observers have been talking instead of possible ‘revolution’ or the ‘disintegration’ of Nigeria. Perhaps, like pre-1914 Russia, it is precariously teetering between all three options.

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Jim O’Neill, the economist who first coined the term ‘BRICS’ in 2001, has announced that Nigeria (along with Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey [acronym: MINT) could become one of the next emerging ‘economic giants’. Yet there remain grounds for wondering whether Mr O’Neill’s view is overly rose-tinted. In sharp contrast to him, some recent observers have been talking instead of possible ‘revolution’ or the ‘disintegration’ of Nigeria. Perhaps, like pre-1914 Russia, it is precariously teetering between all three options. Nigeria is sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous country and soon perhaps to become its biggest economy. What happens there matters not just to Nigerians, but to the region and the wider world. Jim O’Neill may in time be vindicated. Nevertheless, Nigeria does have a mountain still to climb.

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