MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY OF NIGERIAN FOREIGN POLICY (INDUSTRIAL RELATION AND PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS)
Every vibrant foreign policy derives its strength from the domestic angle, that is, from the needs of the country and the populace. For several years past, Africa was the centerpiece of Nigeria’s foreign policy and, therefore, spent heavily pursuing foreign policies of decolonization and apartheid. This policy emphasized aggressive championing of the freedom of African countries such as Congo, Angola and Mozambique then reeling under the yoke of colonialism and those under minority racist regimes such as Zimbabwe and South Africa. Nigeria did not waver to commit moral, financial and diplomatic support in pursuit of this policy. This study advocates a change in focus and highlights the imperatives of economic diplomacy in Nigeria’s foreign policy. It suggests that Nigeria’s pressing economic problems should be holistically examined and tackled first, which will then form the basis of a vibrant foreign policy. It is believed that when the living standards of citizens are enhanced, the approach will earn Nigeria and our leaders respect not only at home but also in the comity of nations.
1.1 Background of the study
Foreign policy refers to actions chosen by the national government to maximize its strategic goals and objectives in the international arena. Every state will have established goals, a set of options, and an algorithm for deciding which option is most appropriate in meeting its goals1 . Thus, foreign policies are the strategies that guide the actions of governments in the international system as they spell out the objectives state leaders pursue in a given situation or relationship2 . For Funso Adesola, “foreign policy could be seen as the totality of all actions, decisions, overtures, and /or interactions between and among states in the international system”3 . Put differently, foreign policy could be based on economics, politics, culture or the creating of co-operation or understanding among nations of the world. It is the sum total of the interactions between and among domestic economies and policies of world nations. Since independence, Africa had been the corner stone of Nigeria’s foreign policy. Issues that concerned the continent were the primary focus of the Nigerian government. Nigeria played unmatched role in restoring peace to conflict-ridden African countries such as Congo, Sudan, Liberia and SierraLeone. In these endeavors, Nigeria committed huge human and material resources. Although Nigeria played the role of a big brother, despite its sustained assistance, it has not been accorded the appropriate recognition for its leadership role in the continent. Instead, Nigeria has been the butt of derision by several African states. For instance, some Francophone African countries brazenly disdain Nigeria and exhibit hostility by subjecting Nigerians living in their midst to varying degrees of torture and humiliation. The poor perception of Nigeria in the international community is attributed to ineptitude in political leadership and economic comatose into which the country has been steeped for several years.