Nigeria is the largest economy in the African continent, having surpassed South Africa in 2014. The economy has been growing at a steady pace of 7% in the last few years prior to the pandemic. It is also the most populous country of the continent with a sizeable market. Nigeria was severely impacted by the COVID pandemic, as global lockdowns prompted falling oil demand and a cut in Nigeria’s oil exports. The economy is projected to grow by 2.9% in 2022, based on expected recovery in crude oil prices. Located near the Atlantic Ocean, a large part of West Africa’s economic activity is concentrated in Nigeria. The prosperity of the country also benefits its neighbours including Benin, Togo, Niger, Cameroon and Chad. The country has immense economic influence over the region and can act an economic gateway for entry into the West African market.
Nigeria is the only other African country after South Africa which frequently features in India’s top 40 export destination for the engineering sector. During 2021-22 India’s engineering exports to Nigeria reached US$ 1.57 billion, while engineering imports from Nigeria recorded at US$ 26.19 million. Therefore unlike merchandise trade where India suffered a trade deficit with Nigeria on account of oil imports, in engineering trade India enjoys a substantial trade surplus. In case of medical equipment which is the focus product of Nigeria Pharma, India’s exports to Nigeria in 2021-22 was USD 43.99 million where as import was only USD 0.15 million.
Being the most populous country in Africa, with a growing middle class, Nigeria has significant demand for quality medical facilities. The country’s domestic medical devices industry is not very developed; hence the country is majorly import dependent. Medical devices such as diagnostic imaging, patient’s aids and orthopedics are expected to be in great demand. There is also significant import dependency in cancer nuclear machines, radiotherapy machines, CT scans, dialysis machines. The emergence of the COVID pandemic has also pushed the demand for better medical devices. Nigeria being the most advanced economy in the region is also a potential medical tourism hub for countries in West Africa. Therefore there is significant scope for Indian medical devices exporters to penetrate the Nigerian market and exhibitions such as Nigeria Pharma can facilitate this to a great extent.