A Critical Analysis Of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction As A Tool For Promoting External Economic Sovereignty Of Nigeria

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A Critical Analysis Of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction As A Tool For Promoting External Economic Sovereignty Of Nigeria


Abstract


This study examined how the concept of extraterritorial jurisdiction would serve as an instrument for the promotion of external economic sovereignty of Nigeria.

The study adopted descriptive survey research which allows both implicit and explicit hypothesis to be tested. Qualitative approach was used to gauge and confirm the participants’ feeling on the critical analysis of extraterritorial jurisdiction as a tool for promoting external economic sovereignty of Nigeria, and the responses were measured using the Likert scale. The primary data used was gotten through the issue of questionnaires which ask questions and require accurate answers from the respondents in relation to the research work.

The descriptive statistics and regression analysis was used to analyze the responses from the respondents which involve descriptive analysis such as frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviation. SPSS was used for analyzing the results on the questionnaires filled by the various respondents. Linear regression analysis was used to test the formulated hypothesis.

The findings revealed that; Gobalization has been considered to be a threat to the economic aspect of sovereignty by virtue of the fact that globalization means reduction of the state;. Extraterritorial jurisdiction has been pivotal in the promotion of external economic sovereignty in West Africa;. The international economic trade law has played an important role on external economic sovereignty in Nigeria;. The kind of efforts made has a significant impact towards maintaining the relevance of external economic sovereignty of states;. The efforts of the Nigerian government on her exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction have helped in the maintenance of her external economic sovereignty.

The study concluded that, for the stability and success of any country its methods of internal governance over her citizens, how powerful her external control over the resources of the country is and the ability to make good decisions and be firm concerning the issues of the country especially in the financial sense are very crucial. The study recommends that; The issue of globalization should be given maximum concentration in order to put in place vital measures that will help curtail the negative effects of its threats towards achieving economic sovereignty. Extraterritorial jurisdiction should be encouraged by the government, nations, policymakers, lawmakers, and the general public so as to enhance its effectiveness in the promotion of external economic sovereignty in West Africa. The issue of international economic trade law be given full attention and to ensure that, the laws are in supports of the local laws so as to make use of its strength in enhancing the external economic sovereignty in Nigeria. Efforts should be made and encouraged by both public and private sectors in order to enhance the relevance and effectiveness of external economic sovereignty of states.


Chapter One


Introduction

The issue of sovereignty of states has always been an issue of considerable debate in both International Relations theory and European Union studies (Heartfield,2009). (Thomler, 2014) on the issue of declining sovereignty of states stated that “it is likely that most nations will continue to attempt to preserve the illusion of sovereignty- while it may not exist in fact, or to the extent it existed when geographic borders were ‘solid’, it is a convenient fiction that allows legal systems and state-based services to continue to perform their functions for the bulk of systems”. This illustrates the extent to which sovereignty has declined in this present era. John Boyd Orr (n.d.) further supported this claim in his statement “we are now physically, politically, and economically one world and nations so interdependent that absolutely the sovereignty of nations is no longer possible”.


1.1 Background to the Study

The concept of Sovereignty has various forms existent under it and economic sovereignty is one of those forms. This is the ability to impose the rules of appropriation, exchange and use of resources. This definition comes from the classical concept of sovereignty of the people which was developed by Kant, Locke and other thinkers of liberal tradition [Savanovic, A. (2014): 1023].

(Pogoson, 2011) stated that Nigeria since independence has played a constructive role on the international stage befitting her status as the largest black nation in the world. With her large reserves of human and natural resources, Nigeria has the potential to create a prosperous economy, reduce poverty significantly, and supply the health, education, and infrastructure services its population needs. However, by the early 1980s with the downturn in the country’s economy, Nigeria began to experience problems in the international arena. The decline in oil revenue, caused by collapse of oil prices, brought about a major socio-economic crisis in Nigeria that impacted negatively on her external image. Not only did the country default in the servicing of her external debts, but the resulting debt arrears constituted a problem in the country’s bilateral and multilateral relationships. This contributed significantly to Nigeria’s loss of respect in the international financial community and, worse, hampered foreign investment. Economic sovereignty of Nigeria is facilitated and influenced by a number of factors such as; internal political stability of the country, absence of insecurity, balanced internal economic structure, functional economic policies, high level of development, and absence of external debt amidst other factors.

The political sphere of Nigeria is so laden with corruption and insecurity and this is detrimental to the external economic image of the country. The Boko-Haram terrorist group attacks have attributed to the political insecurity in Nigeria that eventually transcended her borders and caused international recognition. (The Times,2011: p-2) argued that The Boko Haram crisis, though seen as internal problem, but it has serious impact on Nigeria’s external image. Boko crisis and therefore the propagation of its ideas are linked with the Al-Qaeda, a militant armed network. The attacks on foreign missions in Nigeria, hijacking and bombing makes Nigeria look irresponsible and laughable among the committee of nations. It has seemed to the foreign countries that the sect is being accommodated by the state and therefore the political class. The seeming irresponsible attitude of the ruling class and its inability to reach for the ultimate solution and dreaded by the foreign investors and peace loving citizens of other countries. (Business Times, 2011 p-11). The economy of Nigeria is largely stagnant and prone but not limited to economic issues such as recession due to the non-diversified state of the economy. Oil price volatility continues to influence Nigeria’s growth performance. Following the oil price collapse in 2014-2016, combined with negative production shocks, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate dropped to 2.7% in 2015 and since 2015, economic growth remains muted. (‘Nigeria Overview, 2019). The 2019 first quarter GDP data shows that the non-oil sector accounts for 90.9% while the oil sector accounts for 9.1% (Yusuf, 2019).

Economic sovereignty of a state is said to be complete when the state can independently make economic decisions internationally and be firm with those decisions irrespective of any form of external influences and policies created to sway their decision or choice. The underdeveloped state of the Nigerian economy affects her stance on economic decisions and activities externally. Due to the rise of foreign debts, corruption, Boko haram insurgency, external control and interference in the economic affairs and activities of Nigeria, this research will be critically analyzing the concept of extraterritorial jurisdiction and how it improves the economic sovereignty of a state in this 21st century, using Nigeria as a case study.


1.2 Statement of the problem

The issue of economic sovereignty or independence of states particularly African states has always been existent in time.

(Thompsell, 2019) who identified the challenges newly independent countries faced after independence, stated that “These new countries lacked the manufacturing infrastructure to add value to their raw materials. Rich as many African countries were in cash crops and minerals, they might not process these goods themselves. Their economies were hooked in to trade, and this made them vulnerable. They were also locked into cycles of dependencies on their former European masters. They had gained political, not economic dependencies, and as Kwame Nkrumah- the first prime minister and president of Ghana-knew, political independence without economic independence was meaningless”.

Many countries, especially in the developing world, suffer an ‘erosion of permanent and exclusive privileges over their economic activities, wealth and natural resources’ [Zhongying, 2005]. This statement proves that economic sovereignty of states especially developing states is gradually declining and states are becoming weaker and less powerful. For instance, Olaniwunajayi (2015) researched on Extra-Territoriality and the Conflict of Laws: Section 23(1) of the Labor Act’ and Brilmayer, (2013) suggested that the principle of Extra-Territorial jurisdiction in International Law as related to the application of Nigerian economic laws have been rarely explored. Using the IMF and its loans to developing nations like Nigeria, the IMF on giving loans to countries, makes the loan conditional on the implementation of certain economic policies such as; structural adjustment policies like in the case of Nigeria during Gen. Ibrahim Babaginda’s regime, Privatization, deregulation, higher interest rates to stabilize the currency etc. these conditions of loans by the IMF in actual sense are real threats to the economic sovereignty of these nations as they had no other option than to implement the conditions stated in order to get the loans.

In any country, the stability and success of that country is usually linked to its methods of internal governance over her citizens, how powerful her external control over the resources of the country is and the ability to make good decisions and be firm concerning the issues of the country especially in the financial sense. Therefore, being economically sovereign and firm in all decisions and activities externally is crucial to the stability and development of the Nigerian economy.


1.3 Objectives of the study

The main objective of this research paper is to critically analyze how the concept of extraterritorial jurisdiction would be properly exercised as an instrument for the promotion of external economic sovereignty of Nigeria. The specific objectives are:

  1. To find out how the concept of economic sovereignty is being threatened by agents of globalization.
  2. To critically examine the role of extraterritorial jurisdiction in the promotion of external economic sovereignty in West Africa.
  3. To determine the role of international economic trade law on economic sovereignty in Nigeria.
  4. To identify the efforts made to maintain the relevance of external economic sovereignty of states in this highly globalized world.
  5. To evaluate the efforts of the Nigerian Government in maintaining her external economic sovereignty through the proper exercise of the instrument of extraterritorial jurisdiction.

1.4 Research Questions

At the end of the research, the following questions are to be addressed:

  1. How is the concept of economic sovereignty being threatened by agents of globalization?
  2. What is the role of extraterritorial jurisdiction in the promotion of external economic sovereignty in West Africa?
  3. What is the role of the International economic trade law on external economic sovereignty in Nigeria?
  4. What kind of efforts are made to maintain relevance of external economic sovereignty of states in this highly globalized world?
  5. How can the efforts of the Nigerian Government be evaluated, on her exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction in relation to the maintenance of her external economic sovereignty?

1.5 Significance of the study

One of the major beneficiaries of this research study is the economic sector in Nigeria. It will aid the Nigerian government to properly exercise and implement the instrument of extra-territorial jurisdiction to achieve a stable economy that is internationally recognized. This is particularly important in this current period of time where the Nigerian state is considered financially weak and stagnant by the international community.

Another benefit is the fact that multinational companies would be very accountable for their actions on any part of the Nigerian territory. The individuals of that particular region with multi-national corporations (MNCs) activities and presence would be able to restrict some activities of these organizations and also be able to protect their rights and resources from being infringed on as a result of proper assertion and implementation of extraterritorial jurisdiction employed by Nigeria.

Finally, it would serve as a reference to future findings.


1.6 Scope of the study

This research paper will focus on the relationship between extra-territorial jurisdiction and the external economic sovereignty status of Nigeria as well as critically analyze the role of extraterritorial jurisdiction in promoting the economic sovereign rights of the Republic of Nigeria. This topic was chosen because it reflected the extent of Nigeria’s economic independence as well as her capability to extend economic powers extraterritorially in order to achieve global economic efficiency in an interdependent world.

Nigeria as a nation-state is the case study of this research work. This study focuses on this African country because recent studies and researches have shown that the sovereign control most African countries like Nigeria have over all their economic decisions and resources is rapidly declining. This research work covers extraterritorial jurisdiction and external sovereignty in the 21st century with Nigeria as a case study because recent studies have shown that urgent reforms in a bid to build a sustainable Nigerian economy have heightened particularly in this current century which is characterized by agents of globalization that have been recognized to be threats to the sovereign status of states.

This research work would be executed from the period of September 2019 to April 2020.


1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

The main variables addressed in this study are;

Economy:

The process or system by which goods and services are produced, sold and bought in a country or region. (Merriam, Webster 2019)

Economic Sovereignty:

This refers to the control states have over their economic and social policies to achieve global economic efficiency in an interdependent world. (Shan, W. et.al 2015, October 21)

Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction:

This is the situation when a state extends its legal power beyond its territorial boundaries. (Globalnaps.org, 2019)

Globalization:

This is the process in which people, philosophies, businesses and goods spread throughout the world. (Rouse, M. 2016, June 6)

Jurisdiction:

This refers to the totality of the power or authority that a state has or exercises. (Yang, X. 2012, October 25)

Sovereignty:

This is the possession of absolute authority within a bounded territorial space. (Brahm, E. 2004, September)


1.8 Organization of Study

This study shall be divided into 5 sections:

Chapter one introduces the Background of the Study, Statement of the Problem, the Objective of the Study, The Significance of the Study, The Scope of the Study, and Time Frame will also provide a clear conceptual understanding of the project.

Chapter two consists of Conceptual Clarification, Theoretical Framework and a history of the concept of extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Chapter three comprises of the Research Methodology.

Chapter four examines how the concept of extra-territorial jurisdiction can be used as a tool for the promotion of economic sovereignty of Nigeria, it critically evaluates how its exercise by the Nigeria government since her post-independence till this present period has improved the external economic status of the country, challenges encountered between Nigeria and other countries in the course of exercising her extra-territorial jurisdiction rights and the legal responses taken by the Nigerian Government against countries that infringed on her economic sovereign rights.

Chapter five consists of the summary, conclusion and recommendations.


A Critical Analysis Of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction As A Tool For Promoting External Economic Sovereignty Of Nigeria


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A Critical Analysis Of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction As A Tool For Promoting External Economic Sovereignty Of Nigeria


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