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Relations between Turkey and Nigeria

Relations between Turkey and Nigeria

Following Nigeria’s independence in 1960, Turkey opened an Embassy in Lagos, then capital of Nigeria, in August 1962. Turkish Embassy moved to Abuja in 2001 after the proclamation of Abuja as the new capital in 1991. The Nigerian Embassy in Ankara which was closed in 1984 has been reopened in 2000.

Turkey and Nigeria maintain good relations. Both countries are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Developing Eight (D-8) and they maintain close cooperation in international organizations.

As a result of high-level mutual visits such as the visit of former Turkish President Abdullah Gül, to Nigeria (July 2010), that of former Turkish Minister of State and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Çiçek to Nigeria (November 2010), that of former Minister of State of Turkey Zafer Çağlayan to Nigeria (December 2010), the visit of former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to Turkey (February 2011) and that of former Nigerian Foreign Minister Aminu Bashir Wali to Turkey (December 2015) new cooperation opportunities have been grasped in every field and the legal basis for bilateral relations between the two countries has been largely completed with the signing of agreements in political, military, economic, commercial, cultural and educational fields.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made an official visit to Nigeria on 1-3 March 2016. Turkish Foreign Minister, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister of Economy, Minister of Environment and Urban Planning and Minister of Defense attended inter-delegations meetings during this visit to Nigeria. Furthermore, Turkey-Nigeria Business Forum was organized during the official visit of the Turkish President.

The High Level Officials Meeting of Turkey-Nigeria Joint Economic Commission was held in Ankara on 22-23 September 2014.

Turkish Airlines started direct flights to Lagos in July 2006 (7 flights per week) and to Abuja in March 2015 (7 flights per week).

Commercial and economic relations between the two countries have also been improving rapidly. The bilateral trade volume has increased dramatically since 2004, reaching 1.144,9 million USD in 2015, including Turkey’s import of oil and LNG. Turkey mostly imports LNG from Nigeria.

In 2016 the bilateral trade volume between our countries was 366,9 million USD, excluding Turkey’s import of oil and LNG.

There are many Turkish companies in Nigeria, operating mainly in the construction, manufacturing and energy sectors. As of 2016 there are 50 Turkish firms operating in Nigeria whose total investment has amounted to 419,5 million USD. Including the local partners’ shares, Turkish investment in Nigeria has amounted a total of 620 million USD.

Turkey has granted 28 undergraduate/graduate scholarships to Nigeria within the Turkish Government Scholarship Programme between 2016 and 2017.

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