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Seizing the opportunity: Nigeria's path to market access in services under the AfCFTA

Research report

Written by Prachi Agarwal, David Primack

Image license:Shutterstock: AlexLMX

The Government of Nigeria has highlighted the importance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in its National Development Plan 2021–2025. The AfCFTA can help Nigeria transform its economy by assisting exporters of services to overcome challenges in destination markets.

The services sector in Nigeria has contributed an average of 50% to gross domestic product (GDP) in the past decade. In terms of trade, it has remained dormant, with a share of 9% in 2018, which dropped to just 5.5% during the pandemic – suggesting that most of the services Nigeria produces are consumed locally.

This paper finds that financial services and business and professional services in Nigeria have tremendous scope for growth and sophistication to cater to the domestic and regional markets, standing to gain from greater liberalisation and market access.

This report provides an essential baseline of information to support Nigeria’s efforts to leverage the AfCFTA to enhance market access for its suppliers of financial services and business and professional services throughout the continent. The report identifies key and potential countries for Nigeria to expand its services market share, putting forward key recommendations for Nigerian policy-makers on how to leverage the AfCFTA to expand services exports in Africa.

For more information on our AfCFTA work, visit our programme page: Supporting Investment and Trade in Africa.

Nigeria Services Infographic v7 - AfCFTA
Image credit:ODI