Relationship with Nigeria’s neighbour to the north-east, the Republic of Chad, has been strengthened in several areas including trade exchanges and security cooperation, etc. In trade, for instance, exchange between the two countries, though still largely undocumented, had expanded. This is as a direct result of their proximity, cultural affinity among border communities and the marketability of Nigerian-made goods. Chad, as a land-locked state conducts most of its trade through Nigeria. It is believed that unofficial trade between Chad and Nigeria is estimated at 80% of Chad’s global trade, while that with the Economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC) is put at 21%.
As follow-up to the Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) meeting held in Maiduguri in December 2009, two agreements in the areas of trade, education and cultural development were signed. Furthermore, in July 2011, a Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) was signed between Nigeria and Chad while a private airline, Skypower Express Nigeria Limited was, in December 2011, assigned to fly the Maiduguri-N’djamena route.
On his working visit to Abuja in 19 December 2011, President Idriss Deby Itno met with his Nigerian counterpart, President Goodluck Jonathan, during which both leaders resolved to establish a framework of cooperation in the areas of security, trade and transportation between the two countries. In furtherance of this, the Honourable Minister of State II, H.E. Dr. Nurudeen Muhammad, led a Nigerian delegation to attend the Ministerial Committee Meeting between Nigeria and Chad in N’djamena in July 2012. Other Ministers in the delegation included Minister of Interior and Minister of States of Defense and Trade. The Ministerial Committee concluded and signed Agreements on Security Cooperation. Bilateral Trade (BTA), investment Promotion and Protection (IPPA) and Bilateral Air Services (BASA) thus opening a new vista in Nigeria – Chad relations.