The market for durable goods in Nigeria with the exception of bicycles, work animals, and boats is largely an urban phenomenon. Clearly, the market here is a development market with marketing infrastructure yet to be created, and with daunting problems of governance and social unrest standing in the way.

A recent inventory, though, of household durable goods published as part of the National Population Commission's (NPC) National Demographic and Health Survey 2003 (released in April of 2004) demonstrates the existence of a household foundation for further development. Obviously, any effort would be long-term. There could be some justification for an initial look based on the country's projected GDP growth for 2005. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) thinks that GDP will gain 7.5 percent this year. The country's oil producing sector, as a percentage of GDP, will gain the most: 12.9 percent. But the country's industrial sector will do well too, and its percentage of GDP is forecast to grow 7.0 percent. This is a sign that, in spite of extraordinary difficulties, the Government elected in 2003 may be making some progress in diversifying the economy, heretofore almost totally dependent on oil revenues. Diversification offers protection against oil price shocks, and encourages foreign investment and growth. One of...

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