Director of Korea-Africa Foundation, Lyeo Woon-ki, stated at a media conference in Abuja that Nigeria has taken the position of South Africa as the major trading partner of the Republic of Korea. He explained that in 2021, trade between Korea and Nigeria was $2 billion but as of quarter 3 of 2022, the present figures show that the trade volume for 2022 has attained over $1.5 billion, surpassing the trade volume between Korea and South Africa.
He attested to the fact that the trade volume between Nigeria and Korea is higher than that of Korea and South Africa. Notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic and limited trading, Nigeria’s trade volume has increased rapidly, giving a likely increase of the figure of its trade volume with Korea to over $2 billion by the end of the year. The foundation is therefore looking towards a collaboration with the Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the aim of consolidating trade cooperation amidst both countries.
Nigeria is advised to work on the portrayal of its image abroad.
With the Korea-Africa Foundation, established to build business and cultural cooperation between Korea and the African continent, fosters the eagerness of Koreans to travel to Nigeria for business and cultural activities. However, the news about Nigeria that is presented and available to the Korean public is unpleasant as it depicts the country as an insecure and a dangerous place to live. Woon-ki, howbeit, disregarded the information due to his experience of Nigerians being warm and receptive. With that, he advised the country to work more on the portrayal of its image abroad.
Current Ambassador of Korea to Nigeria, Kim Young-Chae, in his description of Nigerian youths, stated that they are vibrant and technology savvy. In 2021, the Abuja embassy sponsored a number of children to Korea to enable interactions with Korean companies such as LG and Samsung to see for themselves, what is being done there. Nigerian youths are urged to have a good understanding of the Korean culture, while counterparts also learn to understand the Nigerian culture.
Nigeria and Korea might sign a military pact to strengthen security.
In addition, as one of the efforts put in by the embassy of Korea to display their aim in Nigeria, there will be a fostering of understanding and cooperation between citizens of the two countries. Likewise, in a bid to strengthen the security system of Nigeria, Nigeria and Korea are working on signing a military pact. This is as a result of the emergence of Korea as one of the strongest military formations across the world, which has its success achieved as a survival strategy.
The Korean Ambassador hopes that the bilateral trade between Nigeria and Korea rises further, to the extent of making Nigeria become Korea’s biggest trading partner in Africa, as Nigeria is the biggest trading economy in Africa. To strengthen the diplomatic ties between them, Korea imports Nigerian gas and also looks forward to importing some agricultural products such as sesame seed, knowing fully well that Nigeria produces a lot of sesame seeds; and manufactured goods for the Korean market.
KOICA has spent about $500 million on e-government in Nigeria.
Amidst these, Korea seeks the support and commitment of Nigeria towards the achievement of the set objectives of the $13 million Digital Governance Program. The project is a move to enhance Nigeria’s e-Government Master Plan (NeGMP) and upgrade Nigeria’s Enterprise Architecture and development of a 10-year Government implementation plan. The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), by investing in Information Communication Technology, has continuously engaged the Nigerian government in e-government, considering the huge amount of money, over $500 million, that has been spent towards its realization.