Bilateral Brief Bilateral Brief

Bilateral Brief




  1. India and Nigeria enjoy warm, friendly, and deep-rooted bilateral relations. India, with a population of 1.3 billion, and Nigeria, over 190 million, are large developing and democratic countries with multi-religious, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual societies. India as the largest democracy in the world and Nigeria as the largest in Africa, become natural partners.
  2. The struggle against colonialism and apartheid in the formative years after independence of the two countries laid strong foundation for the engagement of the two countries. India and Nigeria are playing an important role in the South-South Cooperation. In the multilateral organisations particularly United Nations, G77 and NAM, both countries have been articulating the voice of the developing world in a coordinated and effective manner.
  3. India established its Diplomatic House in Lagos in November 1958, two years before Nigeria became independent in 1960. Political contacts at the highest level were maintained during the last 60 years.
  4. In Oct 2007 Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India visited Nigeria. During this visit both countries raised the status of bilateral relationship to a “Strategic Partnership’. Our diplomatic relations have transformed from “Historical Friendship” to “Strategic Partners”. 
  5. The presence of a large Indian expatriate community of about 50,000, the largest in West Africa adds value to the importance of the long-standing relationship between the two countries.


  1. India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s landmark visit to Nigeria in September 1962 and his interaction with Nigeria’s first Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa had created mutual goodwill, respect, and friendship between the two countries and leaders. Two Nigerian Presidents visited India as the Chief Guests at India’s Republic Day i.e. in 1983 by President Shehu Shagari and in 2000 at India’s 50th Republic Day celebrations by President Olusegun Obasanjo. Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Abuja in December 2003 to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit.
  2. Nigerian leadership regularly visited India –with President Obasanjo in November 2004, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan (who later served as President from 2011-2015) in November 2007 and to the first India-Africa Forum Summit held in New Delhi in April 2008. During the historic State visit to Nigeria by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in October 2007, India and Nigeria adopted the Abuja Declaration for Strategic Partnership, which gave a new impetus to our bilateral ties.
  3. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari visited New Delhi in October 2015 to participate in the Third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III) The meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Buhari enabled the two countries to review the bilateral engagement, and to chart a path for further enhancement of the bilateral engagement.
  4. The visit of Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari to Nigeria from 26 to 29 September 2016 and his meetings with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo provided yet another opportunity to further deepen the bilateral cooperation.
  5. From 5-10 September 2023, Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria visited India to attend G20 leaders’ summit 2023. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met Mr. Tinubu on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi.
  6. Both countries have nurtured the relationship through periodic interactions. Important bilateral visits at the level of Heads of State or Government are given in the table below.

Nigerian Dignitary to India



Mr. Shehu Shagari, President

January 1983

Chief Guest Republic Day celebrations.

Gen Sani Abacha, President

March 1994

To attend the G15 Summit

Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, President

April 1999


Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, President

 Jan 24-28, 2000,

State Visit to India

As the Chief Guest at India’s 50th Republic Day celebrations.

Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, President

 Nov 2-3, 2004

Transit Visit to India

Mr. Goodluck Jonathan,

Vice President

Nov 5-7, 2007


April 2008

For the Federalism Conference.

April 2008- led a large delegation including Delta & Bayelsa State Governors and MOS (Gas) for the India-Africa Summit in April 2008.

Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, President

Oct 26-30, 2015

For the Third India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi

Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu,


Sept 5-10, 2023

To attend G20 leaders’ Summit 2023

Indian Dignitary to Nigeria



Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru,

Prime Minister

Sep 23-27, 1962


First ever State Visit

Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee,

Prime Minister

Dec 2003

To attend Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in Abuja.

Dr. Manmohan Singh,

Prime Minister

October 2007


Bilateral State Visit

Mr. Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Vice President

September 2016


Bilateral Official Visit



India to Nigeria

Sr. no

Indian Dignitary




Shri V. Muraleedharan,

MoS for  External Affairs

22-23 Aug 2022

To attend the inaugural event of Nigeria-India Business Council (NIBC) at Abuja.


Shri Rajnath Singh, 

Defence Minister

28-29 May 2023

To attend the swearing-in ceremony of President of Nigeria Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of India at Abuja


Dr. S. Jaishankar, 

External Affairs Minister

21-23 January 2024

To attend 6th Joint Commission Meeting between India-Nigeria in Abuja


Nigeria to India

Sr. no

Nigerian Dignitary




Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs

March 2023

G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (FMM) at New Delhi


Prof. Bolaji Olufunmileyi Owasanoye,

Chairman, ICPC

March 2023

G20: 1st Anti-Corruption Working Group Meeting at at Gurugram


Dr. Osagie Ehanire,

Minister of Health

23-26 March 2023

To attend One World TB Summit at Varanasi


Mr.Udi Odum, MoS, Environment

9-10 April 2023

To attend inaugural event for International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA) at Mysuru.  Nigeria is a founding member of International Big Cats Alliance.


Mr. Ekunmankama Joseph N, MoS, Health

26-28 April 2023

To attend One Earth

One Health event in

New Delhi. (6th Edition of Advantage Health care –

India AHCI 2023).


Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, Foreign Affairs Minister

5-10 Sept 2023

G20 Summit : Accompanied President of Nigeria


Dr. Doris Uzoka Anite, Minister of Industry,

Trade and Investment

5-10 Sept 2023

G20 Summit : Accompanied President of Nigeria


Mr. Adebayo Olawale Edun,

Minister of Finance

5-10 Sept 2023

G20 Summit : Accompanied President of Nigeria


Mr. Olatunbosun Tijani, Minister of Communication & Digital Economy

5-10 Sept 2023

G20 Summit : Accompanied President of Nigeria



  1. Foreign Office Consultations (FoC): The first round of India-Nigeria Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) was held in Abuja in December 2003 on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Summit. The 2nd FoC was held in New Delhi on 29 September 2022.
  2. Joint Commission Meeting (JCM): The Joint Commission was set up between the two countries in 1979.

JCM Meetings



1st  meeting


New Delhi

2nd  meeting

August 1989

New Delhi

3rd  meeting

March 2000


4th  meeting

October 2003

New Delhi

5th  meeting

March 2011

New Delhi

6th  meeting

January 2024



  1. Consular Dialogue:

Consular Dialogue



1st  meeting

September 2019

New Delhi

2nd  meeting

February 2023



  1. Joint Trade Committee (JTC): India and Nigeria have agreed in 2017 to establish a Joint Trade Committee (JTC) at the level of Commerce Secretary from Indian side and Permanent Secretary (Trade) from Nigerian side to review he ongoing bilateral trade and commercial relations.

Joint Trade Committee



1st  meeting

December 2019

New Delhi

2nd  meeting

April 2024




  1. The Defence Cooperation between the Armed Forces of India and Nigeria has been nurtured over a period and military interactions began right earnest after Nigeria’s independence in 1960. India helped set up various military institutions including the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) at Kaduna, the Naval College at Port Harcourt besides other elite military training establishments in Nigeria. Several Nigerian officers have also been trained over the years in Indian military institutions. These include former Nigerian Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida and several other top military officers. The incumbent President Muhammudu Buhari also attended the prestigious Defence Services Staff Course (DSSC) at Wellington in 1970s.
  2. After signing a bilateral MoU on Defence Cooperation in October 2007, visits at high-level took place and bilateral interaction for defence cooperation has increased over the years. The Armed forces of both the nations have attended military training together, exchange programmes and served in UN Peace Keeping Operations. These exchanges have assisted in strengthening cooperation not only within the Armed forces but also between both the countries. Defence Cooperation is an integral to the strategic partnership between India and Nigeria. Among the areas of cooperation include counter terrorism and counterinsurgency (CT/CI), sea piracy and exchange of visits between training institutes.
  3. Joint Defence Coordination Committee (JDCC) : The JDCC explores avenues to enhance the bilateral Defence Cooperation.




1st  meeting

April 2013

New Delhi

2nd  meeting

         May 2014


3rd  meeting

August 2015

New Delhi

4th  meeting

November 2017


5th  meeting

January 2019

New Delhi


  1. NSA Visit (March 2021): Nigerian delegation led by National Security Adviser of Nigeria Major General (Retd.) Babagana Monguno visited New Delhi for the First Strategic and Counter-Terrorism Dialogue between India and Nigeria at the level of NSA from March 4-5, 2021.
  2. In August 2022, a 12-member delegation from NYSC, Nigeria visited India as a part of 75th Independence Day celebration under the cultural exchange programme, to showcase culture and heritage of Nigeria.
  3. In September 2022, Indian Naval Ship, INS Tarkash visited Lagos, Nigeria to conduct first ever anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Guinea.


  1. In 2022, India figured amongst the top 5 trading partners of Nigeria. The Bilateral trade volume between Nigeria and India has fallen from US$ 14.95 billion in 2021-22 to US$ 11.8 billion in 2022-23. This is mainly because of decrease in the volume of oil purchased from Nigeria. The fall in quantum of oil purchase is also attributable to non-nomination of cargo from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which had signed a G2G term contract for supply with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL). The exports from India, however, continue to increase.
  2. India-Nigeria Bilateral Trade Statistics (Value in US$ million)










India ’s Exports








India ’s Imports








Total Trade








Source: DGCIS India

  1. During 2022-23, the High Commission participated in 14 online events (UPEPC, APEDA, FIEO, HEPC, SEPC, Plexconcil et al) and 21 physical events (TPCI, PHDCCI, Pharmexcil, Powerelec, Trade Fairs et al). Besides, the High Commission has been regularly providing in-depth sectoral analysis of economic and industrial data of Nigeria to provide an edge to policy makers and companies for making judicious business decisions and enhancing of exports to Nigeria.



  1. India is emerging as a development partner of Nigeria in two fronts –by offering developmental assistance through concessional loans and by offering capacity building training programmes.

US $ 100 million LOC: India offers development assistance to Nigeria in the form of Lines of Credit. Two agreements for extension of Lines of Credit @ US$ 30 million for a gas fired turbine electricity generation station in Cross River State of Nigeria and @ US$ 31.05 million for 3 sub-projects including 2x60 MVA transmission substation, solar-powered streetlights and 50kVA mini-grids in Kaduna State of Nigeria are under implementation. Another offer for Line of Credit of US$ 38.95 million has been re-purposed. The agreement is yet to be signed.


  2. Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC): Since 1964, India has been supporting Nigeria’s efforts in capacity building under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme. Every year India offered about 250 civilian and 250 defence training slots under ITEC/e-ITEC to Nigeria.
  3. Training Programmes under the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III): Consequent to the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III) that was held in New Delhi in October 2015, India has been offering additional training programmes to Nigeria in diverse subjects ranging from agriculture, health, hydropower, water resources, etc. In the year 2018-19, about 74 Nigerians have been trained under IAFS-III Programmes in premier Indian institutions.



  1. India has been a destination for Nigerian students for pursuing higher education since 1955. Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR)’s instituted scholarship programme, which is fully funded by it, became the main vehicle for Nigerian students to study in India since 1960s. The Indian educational institutions system became popular for its quality and cost-effective education. Large number of Nigerian students are studying in various Indian universities.
  2. ICCR Africa Scholarship Scheme: Every year, the Indian Council of Cultural relations ICCR offered around 20 fully funded scholarships under the “ICCR Africa Scholarship Scheme” for Nigerian nationals to pursue under-graduate, post-graduate and higher courses in India.
  3. C.V Raman International Fellowships: Nigerian Nationals are regularly availing the C.V.Raman International Fellowships offered by Government of India in doctoral and post-doctoral research training.
  4. Hindi Scholarship: Nigerian nationals are regularly attending year-long Hindi classes at Central Institute of Hindi in Agra.
  5. AYUSH Scholarship : Nigerian Students are regularly  availing AYUSH Scholarship by ICCR.
  6. Study In India Programme (SII):  Every year thousands of Nigerian students got admitted in various Indian universities under Study in India (SII) programme.
  7. e-Vidya Bharati and e-Arogya Bharati MoUFederal Ministry of Education, Nigeria and Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) signed the e-VBAB MoU in Sep 2021. Under this MoU, India has offered free tele-education to 15000 students and free tele-medicine to 1000 doctors and paramedics. For Academic year 2022, iLearn portal was opened for Nigerian students for online courses and around 11500 students applied for scholarships. Total 4830 Nigerian students got admitted in various Universities in India.  In 2023, around 450 Nigerian students got admitted in various Universities in India


  1. An MoU on cooperation in outer space was signed between India and Nigeria on 13 august 2020 in Abuja.  The signing ceremony was witnessed online by MoS (EA) Mr. V. Muraleedharan from India and Minister of Science & Technology of Nigeria, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu from Nigeria.  The MoU envisages cooperation in applications in agriculture, environment and mining, micro and mini satellites, and capacity building.
  2. COVID-19:  India's donation of 7.8 tons-consignment of essential medicines, including HCQS and antibiotics, to Nigeria, on 17 July 2020. On 2 March 2021, Government of India has supplied a consignment of 3.92 million doses of Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII), under the Covax scheme of GAVI to Nigeria. The Covishield vaccine is the first Covid-19 vaccine approved by NAFDAC. In addition, India also gifted 100,000 doses of Covishield vaccines to Nigeria on 26 March 21. In Jan 2022, India exported additional 5.742 million doses of Covishield vaccines to Nigeria un-der the Covax scheme. Both countries have approved an Air Transport/Bubble arrangement in September 2020.
  3. Local Vaccine Production in Nigeria: In September 2022 a joint venture partnership arrangement between Bio vaccine Nigeria limited and Serum Institute of India (SII) was signed for the production of vaccines in Nigeria. SII will join Bio vaccine of Nigeria, in building their manufacturing plant in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. In Aug 2022, Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL)’s oral rotavirus vaccine Rotavac has been introduced by Nigeria for immunization of children from the life-threatening diarrhoeal disease.


  1. Namaste! Nigeria: Namaste! Nigeria Event was celebrated on 05 May 2018 by the Indian High Commission in association with Indian Cultural Association (ICA), Abuja and Indian Women’s Association, Abuja to celebrate the diversity and richness of Indian culture. Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director General, Nigerian National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) and Princess GinikaNwafor-Orizu, Chief Cultural Officer, were the Chief Guests at the event. Around 700 people attended the event, mainly Nigerians, diplomatic corps and Indian community. A Fashion Show to demonstrate the costumes of 21 Indian States, traditional dance performances of seven Indian States were presented by IWA and ICA respectively. The Nigerian NCAC presented the Unity Dance symbolizing the unity in diversity aspect of Nigeria.
  2. Visit of ICCR Cultural Troupes:  Recent ICCR Indian Dance troupes that visited and performed in Nigeria includes Kathak group led by Ms. Surabhi Singh (27 Jan-3 Feb 2021), Haryana Folk Dance Troupe (November 2018), Bastar Band Dance Troupe from Chhattisgarh (2-14 April 2019), Narmada Cultural Organization, a Manipuri Dance Group (21-26 November 2019), Odyssey Dance Troupe Kaishiki Dance Academy (23-29 January 2020) and Baba Gorenath Gotipua Dance Association (01-06 November 2021).
  3. Visit of Nigerian Cultural Troupes to India: A 10 members Afri Theater Artist group participated in second National Tribal Festival in Raipur, Chhattisgarh (28-31 October 2021). In March 2022, 15 members Nigerian cultural troupe from the Federal Ministry of Culture participated in in 35th Surajkund Mela 2022. The said troupe was jointly sponsored by MEA and the Govt. of Haryana.
  4. Cultural Events: High Commission of India in association with various Indian cultural associations in Nigeria also organizes events to celebrate International Day of Yoga, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, World Hindi Day, Gandhi Jayanthi, Swatchata Diwas, International Women’s Day, ICCR Day, ITEC Day and B.R. Ambedkar Jayanthi etc. Indian Associations also separately organize events to celebrate Indian festivals such as Holi and Diwali in different cities of Nigeria.
  5. NRI/PIO Community: The Indian community in Nigeria is estimated to be about 50,000 persons, including Indian nationals and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card holders. A generation of Nigerians today in their forties to sixties have been taught by Indian teachers, treated by Indian doctors and have grown watching Indian movies. There is a CBSE affiliated Indian Language School in Lagos with about 2,000 students. Indian Cultural Associations (ICAs) are present in prominent cities of Nigeria including Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Ibadan. In Jan 2021, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) has been awarded to Indian Culture Association (ICA), Lagos, Nigeria. This is first ever award for any individual or organization in Nigeria. Shri V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs virtually interacted with the Indian community in Nigeria on 4th June 2021.


As on 31 March 2024