President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan emphasized the importance of developing strong economic and political ties with Nigeria during his visit to the country where he met with Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari and had individual and inter-committee meetings. At the press conference Erdoğan said that the Turkey-Nigeria Business Forum will contribute to the strengthening of economic relations, which will result in the increase in investment flows between countries as well as raising the trade volume. He said: "I encourage Turkish businessmen to make investments in Nigeria," and that Turkey will contribute to the development of the country through infrastructural investments in a number of fields such as construction.
Nigerian businessmen were in Abuja yesterday to meet with their potential Turkish partners. A large delegation of Turkish businessmen were in Abuja with Erdoğan to hold business-to-business meetings. The reciprocal promotion and protection of an investment deal is one of the agreements on the agenda.
With a population of nearly 200 million, Nigeria is a candidate to become the strongest country in Africa. The United Nations expects the country to become the third-most crowded country in the world by 2050. The energy-rich country sells almost 45 percent of its oil to the U.S., and 80 percent of the country's budget depends on oil sales. Since Nigeria has no middle-class, industrialization grows slowly and, after the discovery of oil, the country stopped investing in agriculture and some other sectors. Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up 85 percent of companies in Nigeria.
Lack of electricity is a big problem in Nigeria. The government aims to reach 10,000 megawatts of electricity production in 2016, which is still too low for its 200 million people, but is an opportunity for investors. Textiles is also a promising sector for Turkish manufacturers. Turkey sends 70,000 tons of textile products to Nigeria weekly, but this is mostly suitcase trading. The construction industry, agricultural products and equipment, health services, education and furniture are also promising sectors. Even in some sectors like agriculture the Nigerian government does not ask for taxes for five years. Over 2,600 Turkish businessmen have investments in Nigeria. Learning consumption habits of Nigerians and logistical problems are challenges for Turkish investors. Tony Ejinkeonye, the chairman of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that Turkish businessmen should expect a very warm welcome from friendly businessmen from all around Nigeria.