Analysis and Studies - Country Analysis

Nigeria: a look at the market

Nigeria is a federal presidential republic which gained independence from England in 1960 but military rule predominated until the adoption of a new constitution in 1999. It’s the most populous country in Africa and the fourth in the world, with a number of 250 ethnic groups, speaking English as official language but comprehending over 500 indigenous languages.

Nigeria has a high birth rate, making the population growing fast, but it’s not sustainable due to lack of government financing, affordability of services and a cultural preference for large families.

Nigeria is specialized in some products, such as Tin Ores ($246M), Tanned Sheep Hides ($76.2M), Cocoa Beans ($489M), Other Oily Seeds ($315M), and Niobium, Tantalum, Vanadium and Zirconium Ore ($116M).



In 2022, the country was the 30th  economy in the world in terms of GDP (current US$), the 51st in total exports ($70.7B), the 53rd in total imports ($67.6B).

The product that Nigeria exports the most was Crude Petroleum, with a trade of $52.1B, ahead of Petroleum Gas ($9.04B), Nitrogenous Fertilizers ($2B), Refined Petroleum ($1.04B), and Gold ($806M). with Spain as top destination in general (13.3%), followed by India (11.6%), France (7%), United States (6.84%), and Netherlands (5.99%).

The exports of Nigeria are dominated by energy-related products and the heavy reliance on a few markets makes the country vulnerable to economic shifts in other countries and to price changes.



With the 73% of Nigeria exports being crude petroleum, the country risks to be strongly affected by changes in global oil prices: its export is diversified across a variety of countries, whereas for other products Nigeria seems to depend to single countries (for instance, a 42.9% of Nigeria's nitrogenous fertilizers goes to Brazil and a 60.6% of gold exports is directed to the United Arab Emirates).

Spain is a significant importer of both Nigeria's crude petroleum and petroleum gas, highlighting a strong relation between the two countries. Similarly, the United States imports substantial amounts of Nigeria's crude petroleum, refined petroleum, and nitrogenous fertilizers.

  1. Crude petroleum (73.7%): 14.1% India, 12.9% Spain, 8.01% France, 7.71% United States, 7.28% Netherlands, 7.03% Indonesia, 2.56% United Kingdom, 2.03% Brazil, 1.43% Switzerland
  2. Petroleum gas (12.8%): 28.1% Spain, 10.3% Japan, 9% Portugal, 6.61% France, 6.17% South Korea, 5.28% Kuwait, 4.89% India, 2.32% United Kingdom,1.67% Netherlands, 1.19% United States, 0.39% Brazil
  3. Nitrogenous fertilizers (2.82%): 42.9% Brazil, 11.4% United States, 8.77% India, 5.83% Mexico, 5.49% Argentina, 2.23% France, 1.91% Senegal, 0.87% Spain, 0.92% Netherlands, 0.13% Switzerland
  4. Refined petroleum (1.48%): 42.8% United Kingdom, 24.3% United States, 17.5% Belgium, 4.23% Brazil
  5. Gold (1.14%): 60.6% United Arab Emirates. 39.3% Switzerland

The most imported product was Refined Petroleum with a trade of $20.7B, followed by Wheat ($3.03B), Cars ($1.24B), Broadcasting Equipment ($852M), and Vaccines, blood, antisera, toxins and cultures ($845M), with China being the top origin (31.7%), ahead of Belgium(11.4%), Netherlands (9.57%), India (8.03%), and United States(4.8%).

 We can observe that Nigeria imports high-value goods such as refined petroleum and medical supplies from European and American countries, while technological goods are predominantly sourced from China and other Asian markets.


For the imports there’s a heavy reliance on refined petroleum: it’s interesting to see this kind of product since Nigeria is a major crude oil producer. This could indicate a lack of refining capacity.

China is a fundamental import partner, supplying Nigeria with technology and manufactured goods, whereas half of car imports come from the United States. Moreover, there’s a heavy dependence on Belgium pharmaceutical industry for critical health-related products. On the other hand, we can observe a diversification as regards wheat, with significant shares from Lithuania, Latvia, the United States, and Argentina, helping mitigate the risk of supply disruptions from any single source.

  1. Refined petroleum (30.6%):33% Belgium, 27.1% Netherlands, 11.4% India, 7.91% Norway, 2.13% United States, 1.7% United Arab Emirates
  2. Wheat (4.48%): 21.6% Lithuania, 16.4% Latvia, 15.8% United States, 14.6% Argentina, 9.92% Poland, 0.96% India
  3. Cars (1.83%): 46.9% United States, 13% India, 12.1% United Arab Emirates, 2.7% China, 1.2% Belgium
  4. Broadcasting equipment (1.26%): 59% China, 18.7% United Arab Emirates, 9.17% Hong Kong, 2.85% United States, 2.04% Netherlands
  5. Vaccines etc. (1.25%): 60.9% Belgium, 21.6% United States, 6.56% France, 4.37% India


Between 2021 and 2022 the country that grew the fastest in exports was Spain, with an increase of $2.72B, ahead of Indonesia ($1.8B) and Netherlands ($1.59B).


  1. Spain: from $6.69B to $9.41B
  2. Indonesia: from $2.04B to $3.83B
  3. Netherlands: from $2.64B to 4.23B


Whereas the imports country which saw a fastest growth was Belgium, with an increase of $5.39B, followed by Netherlands ($1.89B) and India ($661M).


  1. Belgium: from $2.33B to $7.72B
  2. Netherlands: from $4.58B to $6.47B
  3. India: from $4.77B to $5.43B