Nigeria plays an important role for stability and democracy in the wider region and has considerable economic potential. The German-Nigerian Binational Commission, which was founded in 2011 and comprises working groups in the fields of business, energy, politics, culture and migration, last met in 2021. The return of the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in December 2022 gave new impetus to cultural relations. The two countries also agreed to step up cooperation not only on stabilisation and security, but particularly on the energy transition and climate action. In the fight against terrorist threats, the Federal Government is assisting with the training and equipping of the Nigerian security forces and contributing to transnational stabilisation projects.
Meanwhile, cooperation between Germany and Nigeria on migration issues has intensified in recent years. The two countries liaise with one another on the return of Nigerian migrants, and Germany is also assisting the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in the areas of biometric data collection and border management.
Nigeria is Germany’s second-largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. One priority of bilateral economic relations is cooperation in the energy sector. The focus is on the rehabilitation and expansion of electricity production in Nigeria – particularly through renewable energies and improved energy efficiency – as well as greater participation by German companies in tapping energy sources in Nigeria.
The German-Nigerian energy partnership, which has been in place since 2008, was expanded in 2021 in line with the Federal Government’s National Hydrogen Strategy with the opening of a Hydrogen Office in Abuja.
Priorities of development cooperation with Nigeria are sustainable economic development, vocational training and employment, as well as rural development, the expansion of renewables and healthcare. The Federal Government has, for example, supported successful efforts to eradicate polio in northern Nigeria. With no new infections reported since 2016, Nigeria has officially been polio-free since 2021.
Goethe-Institut Nigeria has been based in Lagos since 1962. Enthusiasm about learning German is considerable. Many Nigerians are interested in Germany, and young people in particular are often eager to study in Germany.