Nigeria is Australia’s 42nd largest trading partner, accounting for less than 0.2% of Australia’s two-way trade. Total goods and services trade with Nigeria amounted to $945 million in 2018. Major exports include wheat, edible products and animal fats. But the potential market is large. 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. Australian imports from Nigeria rose strongly in 2018, driven largely by crude oil.
Service exports could be benefit from the growing middle class in Nigeria. Growing demand for international education could lift Australian education exports. Nigerian student enrolments in Australia are small, at 2,800 in 2018 (0.3% of total enrolments), but they have grown sharply since 2008. The Australian government has awarded scholarships to Nigerian students wishing to study at Australian universities to boost enrolments.
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 to stabilise its exchange rate is an ongoing constraint on doing business.