Nigeria has the potential to be one of the world’s top 20 economies by 2030 with a consumer base exceeding the current populations of France and Germany, according to McKinsey & Co.

The country’s economy may expand about 7.1 per cent a year through 2030, boosting gross domestic product to $1.6tn, possibly pushing it above Netherlands, Thailand and Malaysia, the New York-based company said in a report on Thursday.

About 60 per cent of Nigeria’s estimated population of 273 million by then may live in households earning more than $7,500 a year, fueling a consumer boom, McKinsey said.

“Nigeria has a very positive outlook,” a co-author of the report, Acha Leke, said in an interview with BloombergTV Africa in Johannesburg.

She added that “the most important thing that needs to be done to get it there is execution” of government policies.

Based on McKinsey’s growth estimates for the economy, annual sales in consumer goods could more than triple to $1.4tn by 2030 from $388bn currently, it said.

The retail and wholesale trade industry will probably become the largest contributor to the nation’s growth by then and 35 million households are expected to earn more than $7,500 a year, according to the report.

McKinsey’s estimate of Nigeria’s growth potential comes with significant caveats. The government needs to address poverty, lower the cost of basic services, such as housing and energy, expand electricity supply and boost productivity in farming, according to the report.

“If execution doesn’t happen there’s actually a big risk for the country, even from a security stability perspective, to create jobs and lift millions of people out of poverty,” Leke said. “That has to be a big focus, to grow in a way that is inclusive.”

The most recent poverty survey by the National Bureau of Statistics, published in 2012, showed that 61 per cent of Nigerians were living on less than a dollar a day in 2010, up from 52 per cent in 2004.

Life expectancy is 54 years, eight years lower than in Ghana and 20 years below Brazil, according to McKinsey.