Upon independency in 1960 Nigeria’s major foreign policy purpose has been in the Restoration of the African self-respect and this became the centrepiece of the states foreign policy. Africa has remained the centrepiece of the Nigerian foreign policy since independency when it was adopted under President Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. In his credence address at the United Nations on October 8. 1960. Balewa clearly portrayed Africa as the foremost concern of his foreign policy. Harmonizing to him as the state belongs foremost to Africa so besides Africa must foremost claim attending in the country’s external relationship. With the recognition of being the first Nigerian Prime curate. Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa made the first foreign policy statements on behalf of the state and gave it a distinguishable way which clearly focused on puting Africa overpoweringly at the epicentre of Nigeria’s foreign policy. and consecutive Nigerian leading have good followed suit. However. it was the government of Gen. Yakubu Gowon that clearly identified Africa as the center-piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
Africa as the center-piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy is a foreign policy push which chiefly and persistently agreements extreme attending. entire concentration and sole acknowledgment to Africa in Nigeria’s foreign policy devising and execution before thought of the outside universe ( Adekunle. 1986 cited in Dr. Nwanolue. 2012 ) . This includes friendly relationship and co-operation with all states of the universe which recognizes and esteem Nigerian’s sovereignty. aid to African province in hunt of solution to their jobs and encouragement of the development of their common tyres among all African provinces to further co-operation among states of Africa in so far it is compatible with Nigerian’s national involvement. the defence of our sovereignty. independency and territorial unity. the defence and publicity of universe peace. the publicity of equality and autonomy in African and the remainder of the underdeveloped universe. ( Ogo Emakpor. 2005 ) The 1979 fundamental law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. chapter II. subdivision 19 provinces that the province shall advance African integrity every bit good as entire political. economic. societal and cultural release of Africa and all other signifiers of province. and shall battle racial favoritism.
The construct of African as the centrepiece of Nigeria’s foreign policy has emerged as the most consistent subject that runs through the country’s foreign policies in all the assorted governments. Dr. Gambari. former External Affairs Minster and Nigerian’s representative to the United Nations. stated that the “foreign policy of Nigeria could be called a 3 homocentric circle. these homocentric circle clearly puts Nigerian’s involvement foremost. West Africa sub-region second and so the remainder of Africa” . ( Ogo Emakpor. 2005 ) In Nigeria’s Afro-centric foreign policy. the West African Sub-region remains the first line of execution. Given the country’s huge size. natural. economic and human resources. big market thrust. Nigeria perceives itself as holding an historic mission to exert hegemonic influence in the West African Sub-region and so. the black universe. Her economic strength and the high degree of human resources at her disposal have allowed her a step of liberty in the chase of Africa’s echt involvements in planetary political relations. ( Okunnu. 2010 )
Nigeria was a founding member of the Organization for African Unity which is now known as the African Union. and has enormous influence in West Africa and Africa on the whole. Nigeria has besides in add-on founded regional concerted attempts in West Africa. working as standard-bearer for ECOWAS and ECOMOG. economic and military organisations severally. In 1999 Nigerian ECOMOG forces intervened in Sierra Leone’s civil war. paving the manner for U. N. peacekeepers. The speed and success with which Nigeria has intervened since the initiation of ECOMOG. and the leading it has shown in back uping both ECOMOG and U. N. intercessions. has gained Nigeria important international ill fame for the strength and committedness it has shown as a regional force. With this African-centered stance. Nigeria readily sent military personnels to the Congo at the behest of the United Nations shortly after independency and has maintained rank since that clip.
Besides. although Nigeria ne’er sent an expeditionary force in that battle. it offered more than rhetoric to the African National Congress ( ANC ) by taking a committed tough line with respect to the racialist government and their incursions in southern Africa. in add-on to hastening big amounts to help anti-colonial battles. The state besides supported several Pan African and pro-self authorities causes in the seventiess. including earning support for Angola’s MPLA. SWAPO in Namibia. and helping anti-colonial battles in Mozambique. and Zimbabwe ( so Rhodesia ) armed forces and economically. Nigeria retains rank in the Non-Aligned Movement. and in late November 2006 organized an Africa-South America Summit in Abuja to advance what some attendants termed “South-South” linkages on a assortment of foreparts. Nigeria is besides a member of the International Criminal Court. and the Commonwealth of Nations. from which it was temporarily expelled in 1995 under the Abacha government. Nigeria has remained a cardinal participant in the international oil industry since the 1970s. and maintains rank in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC which it joined in July. 1971. ( O. E. Shitta. 2010 )
The function that Nigeria has played in assorted international organisations over the old ages has been proactive. particularly in the AU. Nigeria has smartly articulated and systematically defended African concerns and involvements as a member of assorted international organisations. She has used this platform to defend the involvements of Africa in the true spirit of Pan- African doctrine. That is why in acknowledgment of her battles and part to the riddance of colonialism. apartheid and racism she was categorized as a “Front line State” . Within the West African Sub part. consecutive disposals in Nigeria have ensured the publicity of cooperation with other African states in all Fieldss of human enterprise through economic exchanges and regional integrating of members. This has been achieved through deployment of more Technical Aide Corps ( TAC ) voluntaries whose services have been in high demand by other states to help in the countries of their work force demands.
In specific footings. there have been considerable integrating through sharing Nigeria’s know-how and expertness with other African. Caribbean and Pacific ( ACP ) states ; Promotion of incorporate substructure in the West African sub-region ; Establishment of the ECOWAS free trade country ; Promotion of sub regional ( ECOWAS ) Economic integrating ; Establishment of the Ministry of Cooperation and Integration ( which was later subsumed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ) ; Establishment of the Second West African Monetary Zone ; Complete obliteration of all stiff boundary line formalities ; Adoption of a common ECOWAS Passport ; Establishment of ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme ( TLS ) ;
Constitution of the ECOWAS Court of Justice ; and Promotion of sub regional peace and security enterprises. President Goodluck Jonathan besides reiterated the centrality of Africa. its peace. political stableness and socio-economic development to Nigeria’s foreign policy. Harmonizing to him. “Africa remains the center-piece of our foreign policy and I have ever believed that if existent advancement and development is to come to Africa. we must originate it ourselves. We can non maintain waiting for others to make it for us. Establishing functional relationships among ourselves. is a necessary first measure in this respect and we are committed to finally holding full diplomatic representation with all African states. ” Thus though the state has had 52 old ages since its independency. Africa has remained the corner-stone of its foreign policy.
• Ibidapo E. Okunnu. 2010. Nigeria’s Leadership Roles in Africa and Daunting Challenges. available at: World Wide Web. economicconfidential. cyberspace ( accessed on 13th November. 2012 ) • Idumange John Agreen. 2010. The Problematic of Redefining Nigeria’s National Interest in the Context of Global Diplomacy. available at: World Wide Web. pointblanknews. com ( accessed on13th November. 2012 ) • Ogo Emakpor. 2005. The Center of Nigerian’s Foreign Policy. available at: World Wide Web. shvoong. com ( accessed on 13th November. 2012 ) • Olusola Babarinsa. 2011. Stakeholders insight on Nigeria’s foreign policy. Daily Times. Lagos. 17th November. 2011 • Prof. Adewale Stephen. 2011. Nigeria @ 51: Need to redefine foreign policy. Vanguard. Lagos. 7th October. 2011 • Shitta Olusoji Emmanuel. 2010. Nigeria’s Foreign Policy. available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //www. blogger. com/ ( accessed on 24th October 2012 )