Germany and Nigeria: Bilateral relations
Nigeria plays an important role in stability and democracy in the wider region and has considerable economic potential. 2011 saw the founding of the German-Nigerian Binational Commission, which is made up of working groups in the fields of business, energy, politics, culture and migration. All five working groups most recently held meetings in July and August 2021. The political declaration that was signed in July 2022 on the return of the Benin bronzes to Nigeria has given new impetus to cultural relations between Germany and Nigeria.
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. One standout project is the Lake Chad Regional Stabilization Facility, through which local and regional solutions are implemented under African leadership in the border region of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and the Niger.
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. Negotiations on an EU readmission agreement, which began in 2016 and were subsequently suspended, were taken up again in July 2022.
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 energy production in Nigeria – particularly through renewable energy and improved energy efficiency – as well as greater participation of German companies in tapping energy sources in Nigeria.
The German-Nigerian energy partnership, which has been in place since 2008 (and for which the Federal Foreign Office is the lead Ministry) was expanded in 2021 in line with the Federal Government’s hydrogen strategy. A German-Nigerian Hydrogen Office was opened in Abuja, which serves as the secretariat and is a key link between Nigeria and Germany in energy policy matters.
Priorities of development cooperation with Nigeria include sustainable economic development, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises, vocational training and employment. Other priorities include rural development, expanding the use of renewables and cooperating in the spheres of health and sexual and reproductive health and rights. 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 there once they have learned the language.