International cooperation between Germany and Nigeria commenced in 1974. GIZ was initially represented by an office in Lagos until 2003, but since 2004 it has maintained a country office and four project offices in the new capital Abuja. At present, GIZ has around 25 seconded staff, 100 Nigerian and... read more regional experts, and four CIM experts working in Nigeria.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and has a population of 175 million, making it the continent’s most populous country. With a young, highly motivated and growing population, abundant natural resources and an increasingly diversified economy, Nigeria is not only a regional power but also an increasingly significant political player on the African continent and in the world. However, Nigeria faces major challenges. So far, its substantial oil revenues have had little impact on poverty. More than two-thirds of the population still live in extreme poverty and unemployment remains high. Sustainable economic and social development is hampered by corruption and by regional, ethnic, religious and social differences and the associated conflicts, which sometimes lead to attacks and unrest.
As agreed between the Nigerian and German Governments, GIZ’s activities since 2002 have focused on sustainable economic development. GIZ is also engaged in the energy sector, agriculture and regional integration.
The 'Pro-poor Growth and Employment Promotion in Nigeria’ (SEDIN) programme aims to increase income-generating employment in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and improve access to financial services. The programme is currently being implemented in Abuja and in Niger, Ogun and Plateau states.
The Nigerian and German Governments also cooperate in the energy sector. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ provides advisory services to Nigerian partners on topics such as rural electrification, energy efficiency and renewable energies, and is contributing to the success of the Nigeria-German Energy Partnership (NGEP) as well.
GIZ provides support to the ECOWAS Commission (Economic Community of West African States) in Abuja, focusing on the management, implementation and monitoring of ECOWAS decisions on economic and trade policy, and peace and security.
In addition, two regional programmes focusing on agriculture are under way in Nigeria. The first aims to promote African rice value chains; the second builds the capacities of market-oriented small-scale farming. The purpose of both programmes is to achieve sustainable improvements in the livelihoods and food security of poor farmers in Nigeria and other West African countries.
A distinctive feature of GIZ’s activities in Nigeria is the high level of cofinancing obtained from other sources, primarily the European Union (EU) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These additional funds make it possible to broaden the scope and intensity of the programmes being implemented on behalf of the BMZ, boosting the effectiveness of German development cooperation with Nigeria.