Nigeria and EU trade, now over €45 billion

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Samuela Isopi

In a recent announcement, Samuela Isopi, Head of the European Union (EU) and ECOWAS delegation, revealed that the cumulative trade value in the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the EU has now surpassed €45 billion. She made this known during a courtesy visit to Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning in Abuja. Isopi said: “Trade has been steadily increasing over the years, and according to our latest data, it stands at approximately forty-five billion Euros (€45 billion), with the surplus in favour of Nigeria, and this surplus continues to grow.”

Given Bola Tinubu administration’s focus on investment, Ambassador Isopi disclosed that the EU is actively engaged in mapping out the presence of European companies in Nigeria. She emphasized the recognition of Nigeria’s vast potentials and abundant opportunities, expressing the belief that significant accomplishments can be realized in this regard.

She confirmed that the EU would collaborate with the federal government to explore ways of harnessing these potentials. “These priorities will be central in the dialogue between our respective institutions. The EU is Nigeria’s most important trading partner, accounting for 20.9% of Nigeria’s trade with the world. The bloc stands as Nigeria’s leading export destination, receiving approximately 25.4% of Nigeria’s exports. In the context of imports, the EU ranks second among Nigeria’s global suppliers, making up 16.1% of the country’s total imports.”

In response, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Minister for Budget and National Planning, expressed his satisfaction that trade between Nigeria and the EU was expanding, accompanied by increased support and collaboration across various sectors.

This is consistent with the drive by our President to boost relationship, to mobilize investors, to seek support from partners, not just development partners but partners that can help us improve our processes and ways of engaging with the world”.

Bagudu explained that the federal government very much appreciated the cordial relationship it had with the EU, and would want to demonstrate that by providing opportunities for more partners, private sector relationships which are already on the ground, so that social and cultural relationships will also be boosted. He also assured that the federal government acknowledges the support of the EU “in areas of governance and improvement of the rule of law.”

Last year, the European Union launched the Multiannual Indicative Programme for Nigeria 2021-2027, which targets projects that reinforce the EU’s bilateral cooperation with Nigeria in three focal areas: Green and Digital Economy; Governance, Peace and Migration and Human Development. The EU is working with its member states, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other EU Development Finance Institutions to implement the agreed priorities as Team Europe.

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