This research work studies the international competitiveness of the Nigerian economy in the global market by analyzing the relationship between trade openness and output growth in Nigeria. Using time-series data over the period 1970-2007, we show that output growth of the Nigeria economy is a function of two sets of shocks; (i) external shocks (openness and real exchange rate) and (ii) internal shocks (real interest rate and unemployment rate).
A non-monotonic and an ANCOVA econometric models are postulated in order to capture the structural pattern of the relationship between openness and output growth as well as the policy effect of structural Adjustment program (SAP). The result shows that there is an inverted U-shape (no-monotonic) relationship between openness and output growth in Nigeria and the optimum degree of openness for the economy is estimated to be about 67%. Also, the liberalization policy of the SAP has positive economic effect on the output growth. The ECM reveals that 79% of the equilibrium error is being corrected in the next period. We concluded that unbridled openness may have deleterious effect on the real growth of output of the Nigerian economy.