How are Nigeria’s trading and political relationships changing?

What relationship did Nigeria have with Britain?

Trade between Britain and West Africa has occurred for over 300 years. Britain traded enslaved African people, taking them to America and the Carribean. Following the abolition of slavery in 1807, the trade turned to palm oil, used in Britain to make soap.

During the 1800s Nigeria, along with much of Africa, was part of the British Empire. Nigeria became independent in 1960. By this time the trade relationship had become one where raw materials were exported to Britain and Nigeria imported manufactured goods.

How are Nigeria’s trade relationships changing?

Despite still trading with the UK, Nigeria now conducts most of its trade with the some of the world’s largest economies including the EU, USA and India. Since becoming independent oil has become Nigeria’s main natural commodity export. However, the country still imports manufactured goods such as chemicals and machinery.

The diagram below shows Nigeria’s main exports in 2017 according to the OEC.

The destination of these exports is shown below.

Nigeria’s main imports are displayed below:

Nigeria’s imports originate from:

What influence does China have on Nigeria’s economy?

As you can see from the diagram above, China is Nigeria’s leading import partner. China’s influence does not stop here, as it has also invested heavily in Nigeria. An example of investment in Nigeria by China includes the construction of the 1400km coastal railway. However, China also benefits from the developing relationship. To meet its significant demand for resources, China is investing $10 billion into exploring and drilling in a new oilfield in Nigeria.

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