Nigeria is Australia’s 51st largest trading partner accounting for less than one percent of Australia’s bilateral trading relationship. Total trade with Nigeria totalled A$895m in 2017. Major exports included wheat, edible products and paper. But the promise of the market is huge. A report from the McKinsey Global Institute suggests the Nigerian consuming class could quadruple to 160 million by 2030, to become larger than the current population of France and Germany combined. Imports from Nigeria rose strongly in 2017 driven largely by crude oil.
Service exports could be one beneficiary of this ‘bourgeoisification’. Though negligible now, they could expand thanks to the burgeoning demand for international education. Nigerian student enrolments in Australia might are a mere 3000 (0.4% of total enrolments), but they have grown over 35% annually since 2009. To lift the profile of Australian universities, the Australian government has awarded scholarships to Nigerian students wishing to study at Australian universities.
Bilateral investment between Australia and Nigeria is miniscule. But several Australian companies have done business there, including engineering and construction firm Worley Parsons, mining companies Australia Mines and CGA Mining.