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Bilateral relations with Nigeria are warm, but thin. New Zealand is accredited to Nigeria through our High Commission in London, but there is limited official contact outside the United Nations and the Commonwealth.
In the 1980s the relationship with Nigeria was dependent on New Zealand’s assertion of its stance towards apartheid. New Zealand clearly emphasised its opposition to sporting contact with South Africa. The relationship has warmed since the return to civilian government in 1999, and New Zealand continues to urge for the addressing of human rights concerns.
New Zealand and Nigeria’s shared commitments include involvement in multilateral fora and in international peacekeeping. Nigeria provides contributions and leadership to African Union peacekeeping missions and, in particular the UN Mission in South Sudan, to which New Zealand is also a strong supporter. The two countries were also concurrent members of the UN Security Council in the early 1990s, and have been strong supporters of each other’s memberships of international bodies.
New Zealand’s assistance to Nigeria, as with most countries in Africa, is primarily channelled through contributions to multilateral agencies that are active in Africa, for example the World Bank, World Food Programme, UNICEF, and the Commonwealth.
New Zealand also offers Commonwealth scholarships to study in New Zealand, and one Nigerian student commenced health-related studies in New Zealand in 2011. There is also a contestable funding scheme for New Zealand based NGOs who work with African partner organisations throughout Africa.
New Zealand is increasingly recognising the importance of the Nigerian market, which is the third largest in Africa. It is important for products such as dairy, and although the range of goods traded remains narrow, there is increasing interest from a range of other New Zealand businesses.
Official Name - Federal Republic of Nigeria
Land Area - 923,773 sq km
Population - 158.4 million (UN estimate, 2010)
Capital City - Abuja
Religion - Muslim (50%), Christian (40%), indigenous beliefs (10)%
Language - English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani, over 500 other languages
Currency - Naira (N) = 100 kobo
Exchange Rate - NZ$1 = 132.37 N; US$1 = 157.60 N (March 2012)
Political system - Federal republic
National government - The President, his appointed vice-president, and Federal Executive Council, which is chaired by the President. The President is elected by universal suffrage to serve a four year term.
National legislature - National Assembly, comprising the 109-seat Senate and the 360-seat House of Representatives; both are elected by universal suffrage for four-year terms
Last Election - April 2011
Next Election Due - 2015
Head of State - President Goodluck Jonathan
Vice President - Namadi Sambo
Main Political Parties:
People’s Democratic Party (PDP); Action Congress (AC); All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP); Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA); All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA); Congress for Progressive Change (CPC); more than 30 political parties are currently registered.
GDP - US$243.6 billion
Real GDP growth – 7.4%
Exports - US$104.36 billion
Imports - US$69.40 billion
Current account balance - US$13.13 billion
Gross external debt - US$12.1billion
NZ Exports (FOB) - NZ$270.77 million
Main Exports - Milk and cream (51%), Malt/flour/cocoa (36%), Iron (8%)
NZ Imports (CIF) - NZ$0.01 million
December: Prime Minister Rt Hon Helen Clark and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon Phil Goff
There have not been any recent high-level visits from Nigeria.
The Safetravel website provides a travel advisory for travellers to Nigeria [external link].