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FACT CHECK: World Economic Forum misleads Nigerians on country’s ranking



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NIGERIA’S progress in the latest Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) is confusing. 

The media, including The ICIR, reported on Thursday that Nigeria moved up 10 places in the 2018 Global Competitiveness Report.  Nigeria was ranked 125 last year and 115 this year. Therefore, the media report was right that Nigeria moved up 10 places in the ranking which indicates that the country has made progress in global competitiveness.

However, the 2018 Report showed that Nigeria fell three places to 115 and was ranked 112 in the 2017 edition.

2018 GC Report says Nigeria was ranked 112 in 2017 edition

This is where the confusion comes in. Contrary to the 2018 Report, the Global Competitiveness Report 2017 ranked Nigeria 125 out of 137 countries.  But the 2018 Report indicated that Nigeria ranked 112 out of 135 countries in 2017.

It seems there is a misrepresentation of 2017 ranking because the 2018 Report indicated that 135 countries were ranked in 2017 whereas 137 countries were actually ranked as contained in the 2017 Report.

Reno Omokri, a former aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, capitalised on this confusion to tweet that the media report that Nigeria made progress in GCI was false and alleged that the media report was sponsored by President Muhammadu Buhari government.

Based on the 2018 GCI, Omokri was right that Nigeria slipped by three places and did not make progress.

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Therefore, both claims by the media and Omokri were right based on information from the WEF.

The ICIR sent an e-mail to WEF for clarification on Nigeria’s ranking but has not received feedback at the time of this report.

A tweet was also sent to the WEF Twitter handle but there was no reply by the time of this report.

WEF said it used a brand new methodology in this year’s ranking “to fully capture the dynamics of the global economy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

According to the report “the GCI 4.0 framework is built around 12 main drivers of productivity. These pillars are: Institutions, Infrastructure; Technological readiness; Macroeconomic context; Health; Education and skills; Product market; Labour market; Financial system; Market size; Business dynamism; and Innovation. They comprise 98 individual indicators.”


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Regardless of the new methodology used in the 2018 Report, it does not change the fact that Nigeria was ranked 125 in the 2017 GCI and now ranks 115 in the latest ranking. For the 2018 Report to say that Nigeria was ranked 112 in the 2017 edition is misleading.


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