Nigeria has actively participated in the creation of the ECOWAS on the 28″’ May, 1975. The motivation in this regard is due some imparatives which guide  the conceptualization  and contr y” s securit y conduct as well as foreign policy towards her neighbors in the same region. The defense, territorial intergrit y of Nigeria protection and internal and external aggression sovereignty are among in the imparatives. Furthermore, diplomac y, peaceful co-existence and good relationship maintained with states that are members of ECOWAS particularly those share boundaries with either by land, air, water and take stability as concerns in pursuant of economic integration in the West African sub-region (Basse y and N yonge20 12:27 I -290). These clearly are firmly associated and coterminous components, combined  with the always developing  populace of the nation, characterized the conduct and practical inv’estigation of N igeria’s part in the territorial incorporation measure in the sub-region.

Nigeria” s quest for the regional peace and  security  stabilit y  is equally  important. The N igeria’s Biafra Civil War had opened the counhy’s leader to the dubiousness and weakness of the country to its nearby Francophone nations, which are extraordinaril y impacted by France. For example, during the Nigeria’s civil war, Cote d’ lvoire, a Francophone country, perceived the territory of Biafra, while Benin Republic and Chad affected by France gave rnyster y backing to the secessionist Biafra state. Aside from Cote d’lvoire, it was obviously evident that French government had helped the Biafra secessionist powers through her previous Francophone nations. Thus, after the Nigeria’s civil war, the at that point General Y akubu Gowon organization were

properly mindful abnut the securit y dangers that the quick neighbors represented country’s presence cornpatibilit y to the France superseding impact over its states, started a stage that would join Nigeria and nations in the sub-area, and accordingly decreased France impact over its previous settlements. Arrangement of dealings, meetings were held which was in the long run finished in the formation of ECOWAS in 2075. (Asiwaju 1984:33-34).

Nigeria has a great influence among in the region and in Africa at large, owing to this fact that it has se›’erally organized regional cooperative efforts on the continent, mean while at the same time functioning as a leader of the ECOWAS and the EC OMOG. Thus ECOWAS was initially found on May 1975 as a regional union to categorically promote the economic activities of west African countries, but eventually due to the political pressures and instabilit y it has metamorphosed in to descending to the regional political arena to intervene the political crisis and armed conflicts which were eaten in to the fabric of the region thereby undermining the peace and securit y of the region. The ECOWAS treat y was si  icantly provided for the gradual removal of customs duties among the west African states, and free movement of people and capital within the region is guarantee. However, Nigeria has actively involved in several peacekeeping operations which mostl y lead to the peace building efforts. Under the leadership of Nigeria, the ECOWAS standing committee during their first session is to summoned for discussion of the crises in Liberian and such was held from August 7 to 8, 1990, aside considering the tragic sit uation, the principle of non-intervention was wax’ed. There was an absolute neglect and ambiv’alence by the global community, and devastating humanitarian catastrophe was faced. There was a pressure on ECOWAS For intervention through its peacekeeping missions in the Liberia’s crisis. (Abu bakar; 200 I: 19). The N igeria’s efforts at economic growth, peace resolution and peace-building have been in predication majorly on the struggle of securit y at the demonic level via peace relationship promotion between enarnoring  nations and herse  s well as neighboring  nations themselves. The clearest indications of this peace building role is the dominant role in the mediation of the crises between Liberia and Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Mali, and Togo and Ghana.. Be that as it may, the greatest exertion till date could without much of a stretch be found on account of the contention with Cameroon over the Bakassi Peninsula which was Iater took over by the Cameroon government.

The extraordinary restriction that Nigeria showed with its acknowledgment ot the International Court of Ju stice judgm ent that handed over the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon is a most elevated illustration of its journey for harmony. This obligation to the serene goal of contentions was one of the significant impetuses in the foundation of EC AS. Thusly, other than makin g sure about its general  destinations  of territorial financial reconciliation, ECOWAS served, by th at measures, to decrease the over dependence of other West African nations on Western unfamiliar forces Jor monetary and military help. Albeit frontier

divisions, particularly among British and French West Africa actually exist, ECOWAS has the solitary impact of debilitating these divisions, a dding to more prominent provincial incorporation and stea diness, tying

an air to the compromise, line 9uestions goal, making a component for refereeing, and reinforcing West Africa’s hand inside Africa and in the global local area. All the more explicitly, through social and social

strategies, economic allian ce, speculations openings,  custom understanding,  money  related arrangements, and instruments for refereeing, for example, the Early Warning System with its four observatories situ ated in Banjul, Cotonou, Monrovia, and Ouagadougou, just as ECOMOG, ECOWAS looked for and has gone far in m aking a wide structure inside which monetary mix, harmony, maj ority rule government, and territorial advancement could be figured it out.

The ECOWAS” s effort in reacting to these difficulties have come to speak to an institutional illustration of a fruitful change from its underlying restrictix’e distraction with global financial participation and reconciliation to another extra however  correlatis’e  plan  of  an innovatively helpful commitment with the assignment of sub-regional manage net of securit y (Akindele ; 2003: 279). Nigeria, has shoulder the enormous burden of prox’iding leadership, logistic and military facilities for the ECOWAS peacekeeping operations in the region, as it’s the richest member state in the region. Some years back, precisely around 20 I I , ECOWAS had made a consorted effort to promoted gorxl governance, econorilic growth, peace and security stabilit y in the region, despite the serious challenges confronted the region  in  this  period.  Despite  the exogenous shocks experienced by the west African states due to the socio-political and economic challenges in the world, the sovereign debt crisis in the European countries and Arab Spring in the Middle East, the inflation of food stuffs and the sky rocketed of the Oil price, as well as series of political crisis, post-election violence and hu man right abuses in some member states especially in Guinea and Cote d’ lvoire, but the economic growth of west African states was still very strong. Hence, the economic growth rate of the region has declined to 6.0°/c in 20 I I  as against  to 6.7°/c  in the previous year. And this was due to the macroeconomic reformative measures executed by ECOWAS. Nevertheless, the lr›cal and international observer mission have recommended that

most of the general elections conducted in the west African states were adjudged to be credible, free and fair in all ramifications.


Since the establishment of ECOWAS, with Nigeria at the forefront of its formation, Nigeria has continued to spearhead the organization. Since the estabisrnent of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 1975, Nigeria as a state in the west Africa has been actively participate in the integration process and its stabilit y. The acti›’eness is as a result of motivation of its nat ional interst in cornpliane with objectves of her foreign policy. Nigeria” s participation in ECOWAS was ell pronounce particularly in her genuine, benevolent, hegemonic  peacekeeping and peace-enforcement operations in Sierra Lenne and Liberia. However, other West African member states has’e failed to acknowledge, recognize, and respect the continuous efforts that Nigeria continues to put into the organizat ion. Despite shouldering most of the organizations activities, this includes its peacekeeping missions and its various policies and program, Nigeria does not get its due accord from the other member states. The beneficiaries are yet to appreciate the Nigeria” s brotherly role to sanitized the region. The pay back was something terrible especially from the main benefact or.

Also, despite N igeria’s active role in the organization’s policies and programs, these policies and programs still continue to prox’e futile, such as the proposed unified currenc y of West African  countries,  the  ECO,  ECOWAS   Trade   Liberalization  Scheme  (ETLS),  etc.  despite N igeria’s peacekeeping and conflict resolution role in the region, conflict still remains rampant throughout its parts, from Mali to the other larger nations of the region where political instabilit y remains a persistent factor. Additionally, Nigeria, being a major funder of the ECOWAS, continues

to divert some of its internal resources to keep t he organization up and running but despite that, what has Nigeria truly gained from such sacrifices’? And finally why is regional integration still so difficult to full y achieve amongst the states of the West African region.


I . What is the role of Nigeria in facilitating dex’elopment in ECOWAS‘?

  • How has N igeria’s Policies in ECOWAS led to peace and security in the region’?
  • What are the challenges mitigating N igeria’s support to ECOWAS countries?


I . To evaluate the role of Nigeria in facilitating development in ECOWAS.

  • To discuss N igeria’s Policies on ECOWAS led to peace and security in the region’?
  • What are the challenges mitigating N igeria’s support to ECOWAS countries?


Among the African regional states, the federal republic of Nigeria is themost significant strategic heft and greatest geopolitical impnrt ance. During the show u p of Biafra crises, while existential threats to the Nigerian state are just as likely if not more likely to emerge from within, neighbors can certainly threaten the country’s stability and undermine its territorial integrity.It was post civil war that the assistance through the willfall from oil br›nm of 1970s that General Gowon led the formation of ECOWAS in lW5, so as to restrict the influence of French in west Africa as

represented by the then-Cornrnunauté Economique de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (C EDAO). Nigeria has held the post of Chief patron of the ECOWAS for many years, and financially taking care of the more than third of ECOWAS budgetary responsibilities, as well as providing various forms assistance to its neighboring states. The significance of this study therefore borders on the need to redefine N igeria‘s role in the development of EC OWAS. Also, it will provide relevant knowledge on why the ECOWAS was established. lt will also stress further the relevance of member countries’ participation in the achievement of the ideals of ECOWAS. The regional union and international comm unit y can use this study as a reference point while relating to the subject matter. more so, the presidents, and heads of states and, international political analysis’s are not excepted to benefit from this study as they have been clamored for Africa nations to be lifted with struggle to remove all possible obstacles or barrier that may likely affect its ads’ancement Finally, this research work prov’ides relevant information on Nigeria‘s involvement in ECOWAS in terms of costs in achieving her economic, militar y, and securit y interests.


The theoretical framework used to investigate Nigeria ’s vital role in the establishment and development of the regional  organization  is the complex  Interdependence theory. Therefore  the “ omplex Interdependence” model was founded by Robert O Keohane and Joseph S. Nye in the late 1970s. lt was a major challenge to fundamental assumptions of traditional and structural realism which was focused and centralized on the military and economic capabilities to expatiate on the state’s behaviour. (Rana, 2()15) Complex Interdependence on the contrary highlighted the emergence of transnational actors’ vis-a-vis the state. Focus was the rise of international regimes and institutions that compensated traditional military capabilities and the new importance of welfare and trade in foreign policy matters compared to status and security issues. Complex

Interdependence actually became a central component of the nenliberal perspective and has been widely used in the analyses of international politics making an attempt to understand willingness of states to enter into cooperative alliances with one another under conditions of anarchy and dependence. (Rana, 2015)

In the modern time, the word interdependence is usuall y used. The nature of the word politics has presents a simation where state and non-state actors are dependent on each other. (Rana, 2()15) Generally the word ‘Dependence signifies the state of been determine and significantly be affected by the external forces, while Interdependence implies as mutual dependence. (Keohane& N ye, 1977: 8)

The relationship between actors involved in dependence includes states and other transnational actors, is attributed to both competition and cooperation. While discussing interdependence, the reciprr›cal effect of transaction among the actors cannot be rule out (Rona, 2()15) Interdependence doesn’t merely means cooperation and peaceful coexistence among the states; however it includes the relationship between states characterized by dependence, interaction and cooperation in various areas and conflicts. The theory of complex interdepence emphasis the complex ways through which the growing tie, mutual dependent will exist betweenthe actors, vulnerable t o action of each other and sensitivity t o each others need as well (Rana, 2()15) The deli nition of Complex Interdependenoe according to (Genest, 1 996: 140) is economic trans nationalist concept with assumption that the states are not the only important actors, social welfare issues share center stage with security issues on the global agenda, and cooperation is as dominant a characteristic of international politics as conflict.”

                The Key CharacterisDcs of Complex Interdependence

R. O. Keohane and J. S. Nye in their book title as “Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transitions” which they have narrated 3 major features or characteristics of complex interdependence, these are as follows:

Multiple Channel.S :

Under the 1nternational politics there multiple channel which link the entire international comm unit y in terms of inter-governmental, interstate and international transactions. And it is in opposed to the unit ary states assumption of realisms. (Runa, 2()15)

The complex world of interdependence has not been restricted to the formal and informal interaction between governmental elite as the only source of connecting  international communities, but has also recognized informal ties between transnational unions and nongovernmental elites as they are highly regarded as x’ery paramount. Multinational companies, banks, and firms have a great impact on the national and the international relations. Beside pursuing their own interest, this actors have demonstrated transmission belts in making the policy of the gox’ernment in different states to be more sensitive in relationship to one another. (Keohane& Nye, 1977: 26)

  • Absence of Hierarchy among Issues .’

Going by the Complex interdependence around  the globe, there were absence of  priority of issues. The line demarcation between national and foreign police are not certain, as tentative objective is lacking in interstates relations, several matters that remain unorganized in a definite and consistency order. In view of this, “military personnel does not dominate agenda consistently.”(Keohane & Nye, 1977:25) there are currently diverse foreign policy agendas among the international countries. As against the ideology of realist’s assumption where security is

sacrosanct and always very paramount issue in the interstates, in the

any issue areas should  be at the front row                                            all material times. (Rana,

As against In the central and vital role of the realist’s world which is to assures the                                                     presumes the

low salience. Keohane and Nye are of the view that though extreme relationships and mutual influence may exist, however, force should not be regarded as a best method of accomplishing some aims and objectives to wit includes

imperative, because usually                                          is tern  risky, uncertain and very  costly.

(Keohane& N ye, 1977:28) thus as a result of the contemporary technological dev’elopment, modern chemical,  biological  weapons and nuclear                          states are dul y aware  of the

the military forces

conflict resolution has decline and becomes ineffectis’e in contemporary societ y. Moreov’er, its function as bargaining tool is still very paramount and might differ from issue to issue. Its role


The source used in the collection of data in this work is the secondary data, whereby updates and information about this study were gotten from various textbooks, journals, magazines, newspaper, bulleting, intern The study will use quantitativ’e method to obtain in-depth information et directions and other publications and documents both from the private and government.