Nigeria’s Trade Relations
Doing business with the world
Nigeria is committed to becoming one of the world’s top 20 economies by 2020 and expanding trade with other countries is an important part of its strategy for growth. Exports, like the economy in general, are dominated by petroleum, while imports include manufactured goods, chemicals, machinery and transport and food and livestock.
Official statistics have the value of the country’s exports falling by 22.3% in 2009, from USD63.5 billion in 2008 to USD49.3 billion at the end of 2009 – this drop can be explained by a 28.2% drop in the value of crude oil exports. Main exports were crude oil and gas, although non-oil exports are making headway: non-oil exports rose in value by 40.7% in 2009. Import values were up, growing 53% from USD21.9 billion in 2008 to USD33.5
billion in 2009, mostly due to an increase in imports of manufactured goods.
The country’s main export destinations are the US, Spain, France and Brazil. Major import sources are China, France, the US and the UK. Nigeria is a member of the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as well as the African Development Bank, OPEC and the African Union.
Nigeria is a member of ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, along with Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. ECOWAS plans to institute a common market between all of its member states.
Nigeria adopted ECOWAS’s Common External Tariff (CET) in 2005, which brought the average tariff down from around 29% to 12%. Important trading partners for Nigeria in Africa are Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa and Ghana.
In cooperation with ECOWAS, in November 2009 Nigeria set up an Enlarged National Focal Point (ENFP) committee to bring coherence to the country’s trade policies and advise Nigeria’s delegation to World Trade Organisation. The committee will be made up of government officials as well as private sector stakeholders, researchers and academics.