Canada and Nigeria established diplomatic relations in 1962, shortly after Nigeria’s independence in 1960.
In Nigeria, Canada is represented by its High Commission in Abuja (previously in Lagos from 1962 to 1997), as well as a Deputy High Commission located in Lagos. Since 2004, Canada has an Honorary Consul in Port Harcourt.
Nigeria is represented in Canada by a High Commission in Canada, which opened in Ottawa in 1973.
Nigerian Students in Canada
In 2019, Nigeria was Canada’s most important source of international students from Africa, welcoming 11,667 Nigerian students.
In 2021, Nigeria was Canada’s largest bilateral merchandise trading partner in Africa, with bilateral merchandise trade totaling $2.67 billion.
In 2021, Canadian merchandise imports from Nigeria totalled $2.1 billion.
Canada’s main imports consist of mineral fuels and oils, cocoa, rubber, and lead.
In 2021, Canada’s exports to Nigeria totalled $605.4 million.
Canada exports a wide range of products, including vehicles and equipment, wheat, manufacturing equipment, software, aircrafts, and cars.
- A Double Taxation Agreement entered into force in 1999.
- A Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) was signed on May 6, 2014, in Abuja, but the ratification process still has not been completed.
In 2020-2021, Canada’s development assistance to Nigeria reached $126.60 million.
Canada is committed to working with Nigeria to reduce extreme poverty and build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous society. Canada’s bilateral development assistance in Nigeria aligns with Nigeria’s Medium-Term National Development Plan (2021 to 2023) and responds to the following action areas from Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy:
- human dignity, including sexual and reproductive health and rights
- growth that works for everyone
- gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls
Canada also contributes to development results through its support to multilateral, humanitarian, Canadian and international organizations. Many multilateral and international organizations, such as the World Health Organization, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have some of their largest programs in Nigeria. Canadian organizations such as Plan International Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Mennonite Economic Development Associates of Canada (MEDA) and Grand Challenges Canada are contributing to important development results in Nigeria.
Canada is closely monitoring the humanitarian situation in Nigeria, particularly the plight of populations affected by the Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgencies, both in Nigeria and throughout the Lake Chad Basin. Canada works with international partners to help respond to humanitarian needs in Nigeria as well as those of Nigerian refugees and host communities in the neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
Canada supports UN agencies, the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, and international non-governmental organizations to provide internally displaced people and other crisis-affected populations, including women and children, with life-saving assistance, including food, treatment for acute malnutrition, clean water, health care, protection services and support for livelihoods.
See the Project Browser for additional information on development and humanitarian programming in Nigeria.
Peace and security
Canada is also providing security assistance in Nigeria:
- Weapons Threat Reduction Program: strengthening capacities to prevent, detect and respond to biological threats;
- Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program (CTCBP): through the CTCBP, Canada is committed to preventing and responding to the threat of terrorism and violent extremism in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria is among the 9 priority countries for CTCBP programming in the region.
- Regional technical assistance: cooperation on border control management and migration.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Nigeria work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
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