Old Allies and New Friends in Nigeria’s External Relations

Faruq Idowu Boge


Nigeria’s external relations could be categorized into three eras viz, the colonial era, post-colonial period (when military rule dominated the political scene) and the period from 1999 to date, when democratic governance begins to take roots. During each era, the country’s external relations were premised on various factors, such as the form and structure of government, concurrent international political and economic dispensation, idiosyncrasies of the political class, and the economic prowess of the country at the material time. These patterns have determined the friends or allies or otherwise for Nigeria since the colonial times. In essence, the country has tended to develop closer relationships with one country than the other within the international system. In the light of the foregoing submissions, this paper examines the basic trends in Nigeria’s external relations and observes that such factors as inconsistent policies, undemocratic practices, mono-economy, and insecurity, among others have continued to affect Nigeria’s status among the comity of nations. While adopting a qualitative research methodology, the paper concludes that Nigeria needs to re-energize her national interests in order to gain her rightful place among the comity of nations.

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