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The Nigerian economy is based on strong agriculture, oil and gas sectors. However, because of its dependence on oil revenues the economy is very vulnerable to fluctuations in international prices. Demand for oil accounts for more than 95% of export earnings and up to 80% of federal revenue. Nigeria has a GNI per capita of US$1,440 (2012) and has seen strong GDP growth of 6.9% per annum (2008-12). This growth has been sustained in a climate of stronger international oil prices but diversification is needed if the economy is to continue growing in the future and be more resilient to external economic shocks. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with a population of over 150 million and this provides a large market for its agricultural produce.

The agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors together contribute 35% of Nigeria’s GDP (2010). The agricultural sector is largely small scale and very diverse, but dominates the rural economy. Agricultural produce includes cocoa, palm oil, rubber, peanuts, corn, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava (tapioca) and yams and a range of livestock – cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.

Aside from agriculture, oil dominates the Nigerian economy and is the major foreign currency earner. The country has 37.2 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 5.292 trillion cubic metres of proven natural gas reserves (January 2011 estimate). The establishment of the West African Gas Pipeline is set to provide a secure basis for future gas exports.