France and Nigeria

Political relations

Our bilateral relations have seen unprecedented development since 2014, relating in particular to the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist threat. Following the Boko Haram kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok in April 2014, a Summit for Security in Nigeria was held on 17 May 2014 in Paris and brought together the Heads of State of Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Niger and Chad, and representatives of the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union. Our relations have since intensified, as demonstrated by the signing of new agreements in areas including culture, education, security and defence, as well as numerous visits.

Visits

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve received Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at his Hôtel de Matignon offices on 30 March 2017. Mr Osinbajo was visiting to take part in the OECD Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum. On 14 May 2016, President François Hollande co-chaired the second Regional Security Summit in Abuja on the Lake Chad Basin, following the summit organized in Paris a year earlier. The President previously visited Nigeria on 27 February 2014 to celebrate the centenary of the country’s foundation. Nigerian President Buhari made France his first bilateral visit to Europe, making an official visit to Paris from 14 to 16 September 2015.

Several ministerial visits have taken place recently: the Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, visited Abuja on 28 April 2016; the Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, Ségolène Royal, on 15 March 2016; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Laurent Fabius, on 29 May 2015 for the inauguration of President Buhari. The latter had previously visited in October 2014, alongside his German counterpart.

Economic relations

With €3.29 billion in bilateral trade in 2016, Nigeria remains France’s first trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. Our exports (€1.16 billion in 2016) are diversified: refined petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, mechanical, electric, electronic and computer equipment, and agrifood products, while our imports (€2.14 billion in 2016) are mainly made up of petroleum products. Nigeria remains France’s fifth-largest supplier of natural hydrocarbons and the leading supplier in sub-Saharan Africa.

France’s regional economic service, which is based in Abuja and Lagos (http://www.ambafrance-ng.org/La-Mission-economique), supports French businesses in Nigeria, with the aid of the Business France office (http://export.businessfrance.fr/nigeria/export-nigeria-avec-notre-bureau.html) which opened in Lagos in January 2016. Approximately 120 French businesses are active in Nigeria.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Nigeria is home to an Institut Français (French Institute) in Abuja (Visit: http://www.institutfrancais-nigeria.com/, https://www.facebook.com/institutfrancais.nigeria/ and https://twitter.com/InstitutFrNga); a French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA) branch based in Ibadan; three Centres for French Teaching and Documentation (CFTD) in Ibadan, Jos and Enugu; ten Alliances françaises (Visit: http://www.afnigeria.com/ and http://www.ambafrance-ng.org/French-cultural-centres-in-Nigeria) in Lagos (https://www.facebook.com/alliance.fr.lagos/), Ibadan, Port-Harcourt, Owerri, Enugu, Jos, Kano, Maiduguri, Kaduna and Ilorin; a French school (lycée) in Lagos; a French school in Abuja (http://www.ecolefrancaiseabuja.com/); and a business school in Port Harcourt. In 2016, France welcomed 419 Nigerian students. Two Campus France offices, in Abuja and Lagos, provide information, support and monitoring for applications from students wishing to continue their studies in France. A French education fair is organized in Lagos every year.

The Agence Française de Développement (AFD, French Development Agency – http://www.afd.fr/home/pays/afrique/geo-afr/nigeria) is also developing its activities in the country, where it has committed almost €1 billion since 2010. Its commitments in 2016 totalled €315.6 million. Its activities are focused on three priority sectors: urban development, support for family farming and SMEs, and energy. The AFD has also launched an initiative for Lake Chad (€36 million, €31 million of which from the European Union Emergency Trust Fund).

Updated: 25 April 2017

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