Nigeria is Australia’s 73rd largest trading partner accounting for less than one percent of Australia’s bilateral trading relationship. Australia’s goods exports to Nigeria totalled A$191m (0.1% of total goods exports) in 2016. Major exports included wheat, animal oils and fats. But the promise of the market is huge. A report from the McKinsey Global Institute suggests the Nigerian consuming class could quadruple to 160 million by 2030, to become larger than the current population of France and Germany combined. Imports were negligible in 2016 but were heavily dominated by crude oil in prior years.
Service exports could be one beneficiary of this ‘bourgeoisification’. Though negligible now, they could expand thanks to the burgeoning demand for international education. Nigerian student enrolments in Australia might be only 0.2% of total enrolments, but they have grown over 35% annually since 2009. To lift the profile of Australian universities, the Australian government has awarded scholarships to Nigerian students wishing to study at Australian universities.