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Canada-Nigeria relations

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Bilateral relations

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 2021, Nigeria was Canada’s most important source of international students from Africa, welcoming 13,745 Nigerian students.

Trade relations

In 2022, Nigeria was Canada’s largest bilateral merchandise trading partner in Africa, with bilateral merchandise trade totalling $2.2 billion.

In 2022, Canadian merchandise imports from Nigeria totalled $1.7 billion.

Canada’s main imports consist of mineral fuels and oils and cocoa.

In 2022, Canada’s exports to Nigeria totalled $512.6 million.

Canada exports a wide range of products, including cereals, fertilizers and vehicles and equipment.

Trade agreements

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International Assistance

In fiscal year 2021 to 2022, Canada’s development assistance to Nigeria reached $152.2 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 2025) and responds to the following action areas from Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy:

  1. Human dignity, particularly sexual and reproductive health and rights
  2. Growth that works for everyone
  3. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls

Canada also contributes to development results through its support of multilateral, humanitarian, Canadian, international and local 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, Mennonite Economic Development Associates of Canada (MEDA), Nutrition International and Grand Challenges Canada are contributing to important development results in Nigeria. Nationally, ActionAid Nigeria is supporting over 100 women’s rights organizations and networks in Nigeria as part of Canada’s largest Women’s Voice and Leadership project worldwide.

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’s provides humanitarian assistance to Nigeria through experienced humanitarian partners, such as the Red Cross, the UN and NGOs, to support a gender-responsive multi-sectoral response to address the specific needs of conflict-affected women, girls, men and boys. This includes providing food assistance, treatment for acute malnutrition and other critical health care, safe water and sanitation, and protection services to vulnerable populations.

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 (WTRP): Canada’s WTRP supports Nigeria through concrete programming to address biological, radiological and nuclear proliferation and terrorism threats. This includes designing, constructing and supporting biological containment facilities, enhancing nuclear security and radiation safety infrastructure, strengthening the sustainable management of radioactive material and delivering training, technical assistance and equipment. Canada is also leading efforts in the G7-led Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction to implement the Signature Initiative to Mitigate Biological Threats in Africa.

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: Canada supports cooperation with Nigeria 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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