Nigeria mulls G20 bloc membership as president heads to India to attend summit

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's President Bola Tinubu left for India on Monday to attend this year's G20 summit, as his country considers joining the bloc of major world economies, presidential spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a special invitation to Tinubu, as Nigeria's membership is under consideration.

“While Nigeria’s membership of the G-20 is desirable, the government has embarked on wide-ranging consultations with a view to ascertaining the benefits and risks of membership,” Ngelale said in a statement.

The G20 brings together 19 countries and the European Union, with India currently holding its presidency, which rotates annually among the members. Many world leaders are expected to attend the two-day global summit in New Delhi.

If Nigeria joins the G20 bloc, it would be the second African country after South Africa to join the league of the most industrialized nations of the world. Nigeria has the highest GDP in Africa, according to the World Bank.

Since assuming office in May, President Tinubu has embarked on bold economic reforms that have drawn mass protests and weakened the naira, Nigeria’s currency.

During the summit, Ngelale said the oil-rich nation will try to attract more foreign direct investment to build infrastructure without taking on debt.