Nigeria is Australia’s 59th largest trading partner. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted bilateral trade in 2020. Total goods and services trade with Nigeria amounted to $625 million in 2019-20, lower than $800 million in 2018-19. Major exports include edible products, wheat and education; export potential is high given Nigeria’s large population. Australian imports mostly crude petroleum from Nigeria.
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated international travel restrictions disproportionately hurt services trade in 2020. Ongoing international travel restrictions points to another challenging year for services exports in 2021. Nigerian student enrolments in Australia fell to 2,400 in 2020, but at this level are still five times higher than in 2012. The Australian government has awarded scholarships to Nigerian students wishing to study at Australian universities to boost enrolments. Beyond the pandemic, service exports could benefit from the growing middle class in Nigeria. Growing demand for international education could lift Australian education exports.
Bilateral investment between Australia and Nigeria is small. Several Australian companies have done business there, including engineering and construction firm Worley Parsons, mining companies Australia Mines and CGA Mining. That said, Nigeria’s willingness to impose capital controls and import restrictions (particularly in agriculture) remains an ongoing constraint on doing business.