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Exploring Ireland-Nigeria Agri-Trade and Investment Opportunities

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

For more than 60 years, Ireland and Nigeria have shared diplomatic and economic ties transcending trade, education, and cultural exchanges. Shortly after Nigeria’s independence in 1960, the two countries established diplomatic relations with embassies in Lagos and Dublin, facilitating diplomatic dialogue and cooperation. But there's more to Irish-Nigeria relations.

Trade relations between Ireland and Nigeria has been growing steadily since 1960. Ireland exports a range of goods to Nigeria, including machinery, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and dairy products while Nigeria exports mainly oil and gas-related products to Ireland. Overall, the relationship between Ireland and Nigeria is characterized by cooperation, cultural exchanges, and mutual support and we believe it can be better, even under-utilized.


According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, the exports of Ireland to Nigeria have increased at an annualized rate of 7.23%, from $64.9M in 1995 to $398M in 2021. In 2021 alone, Nigeria exported more than $4.8 million to Ireland.

As the "Giant of Africa," Nigeria offers significant opportunities for international investors especially those in Ireland seeking to tap into its vast agricultural potential. With a population of over 200 million people, the demand for food and agricultural products continues to rise, making it an attractive investment destination.


Last year, Nigeria was Ireland’s largest agri-food export market in Africa, accounting for 24% of the market share at more than€210 million. In 2021, Only South Africa surpassed Nigeria as Ireland’s largest export partner in Africa. Other top partners in Africa are Egypt, Morocco, and Algeria. Nigeria’s central geographic position which borders four countries makes it a preferred point of trade and the biggest economic powerhouse in West Africa and the Sub-Saharan Region.

Trade delegation led by Nigeria's Ambassador to Ireland meeting Mullingar Chamber of Commerce, Ireland. June 2022 - (Source: NigeriaAbroad.com)


Irish investors and manufacturers can take advantage of Nigeria’s abundant arable land, favourable climate conditions, and a diverse range of agricultural resources including crops such as cocoa, oil palm, rice, maize, and cassava, as well as livestock and fisheries. Partnering with local agribusinesses or establishing their farms with adaptive technology is also a viable option.

Another strategic investment choice is establishing agro-processing plants for value addition and export. This involves processing raw agricultural products into finished goods, such as cocoa processing or palm oil refining. Nigerian agri-tech startups are developing digital platforms, farm management systems, and supply chain optimization that yield significant returns. Irish investors should also explore a collaboration with Nigerian financial institutions to provide capital and investment opportunities for farmers and agribusinesses.


A Hub for Investors:

While Nigeria offers significant opportunities, factors like perceptions about Nigeria’s political stability, security, market volatility, and infrastructure challenges are a cause for concern. This is why Welcome2Africa International is providing industry-relevant market insight and data to help investors start on the right path when trying to invest in Africa. W2A also has vetted agribusinesses that Irish Investors can work with.


The Ireland-Nigeria Summit scheduled for 5 - 6 October 2023 in Dublin is another event that gathers investors, agribusinesses, policymakers, and other stakeholders to network, discuss opportunities and collaborate to consolidate and maximize longstanding Irish-Nigeria trade relations.

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