Since independence, Nigerian foreign policy has been characterized by a focus on Africa and by attachment to several fundamental principles: African unity and independence; peaceful settlement of disputes; nonalignment and non intentional interference in the internal affairs of other nations; and regional economic cooperation and development. In pursuing the goal of regional economic cooperation and development, Nigeria helped create the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which seeks to harmonize trade and investment practices for its 15 West African member countries and ultimately to achieve a full customs union. Over the past decade, Nigeria has played a pivotal role in the support of peace in Africa. It has provided the bulk of troops for the UN peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), and many of the troops to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS).
Foreign policy is the General objectives that guide the activities and relationships of one state in its interactions with other states. The development of foreign policy is influenced by domestic considerations, the policies or behaviour of other states, or plans to advance specific geopolitical designs. Leopold von Ranke emphasized the primacy of geography and external threats in shaping foreign policy, but later writers emphasized domestic factors. Diplomacy is the tool of foreign policy, and war, alliances, and international trade may all be manifestations of it.
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries. In recent times, due to the deepening level of globalization and transnational activities, the states will also have to interact with non-state actors. The aforementioned interaction is evaluated and monitored in attempts to maximize benefits of multilateral international cooperation. Since the national interests are paramount, foreign policies the government through high-level decision making processes. National interests accomplishment can occur as a result of peaceful cooperation with other nations, or through exploitation. Usually, creating foreign policy is the job of the head of government and the foreign minister (or equivalent). In some countries the legislature also has considerable oversight.
Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher, described human as a social animal. Therefore, friendships and relations have existed between humans since the beginning of human creation. As the organization developed in human affairs, relations between people also organized. Foreign policy thus goes back to primitive times. The inception in human affairs of foreign relations and the need for foreign policy to deal with them is as old as the organization of human life in groups. Nigeria’s Foreign Policy
From the dictates of the circumstances of Nigeria's geographic contiguity Nigeria’s geopolitical and strategic situation, size and stature of her national power, Nigeria, is known for her Diplomatic option in the resolution (or at least in the management) of regional as also international conflict. On those occasions when Nigeria has picked up arms, they have been for peace-keeping or peace monitoring purposes it has never been involved in armed conflict with any sovereign and independent country since her independence in 1960. Although prior to 1960, it was involved in other wars including the World War II, it did so under the British flag. In her conduct of foreign policy, Nigeria has always availed of functional vehicles in the nature of ECOWAS, OAU/ AU, UNO, OPEC, Non-Alignment and so forth. Her advocate of goodneighborliness and peaceful resolution of conflict among other things has earned her a place of pride as...
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Bassey, A., Decolonization and Independence: The Development of Nigerian-US Relations, 1960-1984, Colorado: West View Press Inc., 1987, p. 193.
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Federal Ministry of External Affairs. Nigeria and Organization of Africa Unity: In Search of an Africa reality. Lagos: Third press publishers, 1991.
John, T. Rourke and Mark, A. Boyer, (2003). International Politics on the World Stage (New York: McGraw Hill).
Morgenthau, Hans, (1973). Politics among Nations (New York: Knopf).
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Roberts, B. Nigeria, Africa and the United States: from Kennedy to Reagan, Bloomington and Indianpolis: Indiana University press, 1991, p. 57
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