More information about Nigeria is available on the Nigeria Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Nigeria in 1960, following Nigeria’s independence from the United Kingdom. From 1966-1999 Nigeria experienced a series of military coups, excluding the short-lived second republic between 1979-1983. The 30-month long civil war, which ended in January 1970, resulted in 1-3 million casualties. Following the 1999 inauguration of a civilian president, the U.S.-Nigerian relationship began to improve, as did cooperation on foreign policy goals such as regional peacekeeping.
Nigeria's economic growth has been largely fueled by oil revenues. Although the country conducted successful elections in 2011, it faces formidable challenges in consolidating democratic order, including terrorist activities, sectarian conflicts, and public mistrust of the government. Nigeria has yet to develop effective measures to address corruption, poverty, and ineffective social service systems, and mitigate the violence. Under the U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission, the two countries hold talks on five key areas: good governance, transparency, and integrity; energy and investment; regional security; Niger Delta; and agriculture and food security.
U.S. Assistance to Nigeria
The United States seeks to help improve the economic stability, security, and well-being of Nigerians by strengthening democratic institutions, improving transparency and accountability, and professionalizing security forces. U.S. assistance also aims to reinforce local and national systems; build institutional capacity in the provision of health and education services; and support improvements in agricultural productivity, job expansion in the rural sector, and increased supplies of clean energy. A partnership among the U.S., the United Kingdom, Nigeria, and international organizations to focus on improved governance, non-oil economic growth, and human development ensures closer coordination of donor activities, more effective support, and greater impact for ordinary citizens.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Nigeria is the United States' largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, mainly due to the high level of petroleum imports from Nigeria. The United States is the largest foreign investor in Nigeria, with U.S. foreign direct investment concentrated largely in the petroleum/mining and wholesale trade sectors. U.S. imports from Nigeria include oil, cocoa, rubber, returns, and food waste. U.S. exports to Nigeria include wheat, vehicles, machinery, oil, and plastic. Nigeria is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The United States and Nigeria have signed a bilateral trade and investment framework agreement.
Nigeria's Membership in International Organizations
Nigeria and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Nigeria also is an observer to the Organization of American States.
The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria is John Entwistle; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.
Nigeria maintains an embassy in the United States at 3519 International Place, NW, Washington, DC 20008, (tel: 202-986-8400).
More information about Nigeria is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Nigeria Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Nigeria Page
U.S. Embassy: Nigeria
USAID Nigeria Page
History of U.S. Relations With Nigeria
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information