Past eventResearch Event

The Drivers and Consequences of Unrecorded Trade in Nigeria

8 December 2015 - 16:00 to 17:00

Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, 13/15 Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria


Leena Koni Hoffmann, Associate Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House
Paul Melly, Associate Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House
Chair: Elizabeth Donnelly, Assistant Head and Research Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House



Across West Africa, output and consumption have been growing steadily for a decade and they are still expanding despite the decline in international commodity prices. It seems probable that this positive trend will continue, and it needs to if West African countries are to reduce poverty and under-employment and generate better and more diverse livelihoods for their growing populations. For none are these imperatives greater than for Nigeria, the largest economy and most populous society in sub-Saharan Africa. Continuing growth in trade across Nigeria’s borders is desirable and necessary, but at present a huge proportion of this almost unstoppable traffic flows through informal channels.

This event marks the Lagos launch of a new Chatham House report on Nigeria’s unrecorded trade. Its authors, Leena Koni Hoffmann and Paul Melly, will discuss the drivers and nature of Nigeria’s unofficial trade and explore how Nigeria’s cross-border trading economy can emerge from today’s constraining environment to formalise and more fully realize its potential.

Please note that this event is being held in Lagos, Nigeria.