Nigerian Foreign Policy And Its Economic Development Under Muhammadu Buhari Administration (2015-2020)

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Nigerian Foreign Policy And Its Economic Development Under Muhammadu Buhari Administration (2015-2020)


Abstract


This study examined Nigerian Foreign Policy and its Economic Development under Muhammadu Buhari Administration. Foreign policy is set of tools which are used to pursue and attain country’s national interests. Foreign Policy of Nigerian state has continued to change under various governments and leaders, and the lack of continuity of these policies has affected the country’s economic development.

The research objectives were to; determine if Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Muhammadu Buhari regime had any implication on Nigeria’s economic development; examine if Nigeria’s foreign policy on industrialization has enhanced employment creation in the country; and ascertain the challenges in the implementation of Nigeria’s policy under President Muhammadu Buhari administration.This research work made use of qualitative source of data, through which data were gathered using journals, reports, articles, newspapers, treaties, textbooks and various statutes which would be obtained from online sources.

The findings showed that, Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Muhammadu Buhari regime have a positive impact on Nigeria’s economic development. Also, Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Muhammadu Buhari does encounter a lot of challenges such as corruption, insecurity arising from Boko haram and Fulani herdsmen terrorism, articulation of National interest, primordalism, legislative-executive relations, and lastly, the restriction of Nigeria’s foreign to continental affairs. Finally, the study revealed that, Nigeria’s foreign policy of industrialization has not been able to address the issue of unemployment in the country.

The study recommends that, in order to tackle the menace of insecurity, it is important that the government equip the security agencies with adequate tools, gadgets and equipment so as to combat insecurity. The issue of corruption which is a major direction of Buhari foreign policy be given top priority and should as well partner with foreign bodies so as to recover the loot taken to foreign countries. Lastly, the government should give adequate attention to the growing rate of unemployment in the country, which has increased the country poverty and crimes rate in Buhari administration.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1. Background to the Study

Foreign policy is a crucial instrument with which states relate to states and non-states actors in the international system, (Levy, 2013; Aning, Abdallah & Kofi, 2017). The foreign policy is set of tools which are used to pursue and attain country’s national interests. Foreign Policy of Nigerian state has continued to change under various governments and leaders. This is usually influenced by the type of government and to a great extent personality of the countries leader, (Levy, 2013; Fawcett, 2016; Musa, Bashir & Bello, 2017).

A nation’s foreign policy entails self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to accomplish its goals within the international relations milieu. It is the aggregate of a country‚Äôs national interest which results from the interaction of internal and external forces as perceived by the foreign policy decision makers, (Yakubu, 2016). The approaches used are strategically employed to interact with other countries. In recent times however, as a result of the deepening level of globalization and transnational activities, relations and interactions have been known to exist between state and non-state actors in the international political arena, (Abegunrin, 2014). These relations in their own way have influenced quite a lot of foreign policies between nation states.

All countries of the world have some kind of relations with another country. No single country in these contemporary days can avoid the involvement in the international affairs, and this involvement must be systematic and based on certain principles, (Aja, 2014). In other words, states have to behave with one another in a particular manner. As a result, foreign policy is a crucial activity of a modern state, for a state without foreign policy is like a ship without rider which may drift aimlessly and may be swept away by a storm of current events. What a state aims to do is defined by its interests; what is actually able to achieve is a function of its military and economic capability as well as the quality of its diplomacy. The history of Nigerian foreign policy since 1960 has always been changing, though the principles guiding her foreign relations remain the same, (Gambari, 2015).

On the other hand, economic development is a policy intervention aiming to improve the well-being of people. Seidman (2012) summarizes economic development as a process of creating and utilizing physical, human, financial, and social assets to generate improved and broadly shared economic well-being and quality of life for a community or region. Greenwood and Holt (2015) emphasized that, economic development is a broadly based and sustainable increase in the overall standard of living for individuals within a community, and measures of growth such as per capita income do not necessarily correlate with improvements in quality of life. Economic development is a wider concept and has qualitative dimensions. Economic development implies economic growth plus progressive changes in certain important variables which determine well-being of the people, e.g: health, education.

From independence, Nigeria had pursued a radical foreign policy on economic development under Murtala Mohammed and Olusegun Obasanjo 1975-1979, which was geared at liberation of African states from clutches of apartheid and colonialism and reducing the influence of Western capitalist countries. Sani Abacha 1993-1998 choose to pursue an isolation foreign policy which meant Nigeria had limited engagement with outside world. Olusegun Obasanjo 1999-2007 decided to re-open Nigeria to the world after isolation of Sani Abacha government, his foreign policy was hinged on shuttle diplomacy which was geared at economic development. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan 2007-2015 foreign policy was opened and encourages relations with other countries around the world, and its policy was hinged on citizen diplomacy.

Muhammadu Buhari 2015 till date foreign policy has been able to enhance the economic development of the country in the following areas which includes improving relations with its neighbors so as to jointly fight Boko Haram which assumed a multinational or transnational dimension, partner with US and other world power to support the government in order to fight terrorism by providing needed manpower and intelligence, and more importantly improvement of economy and fighting corruption, improved relations with China in order to foster economic development through provision of needed infrastructure, (Kolawole, 2017).

Since President Buhari assumed shuttle diplomacy between different countries soon after assuming office in 2015, he was referred at as ‚ÄúJet-Setting President‚ÄĚ, this was attributed mainly to the fact he spent a quarter of first 100 days in office in different countries in order to boost the country economic. The president upon inauguration assumed the responsibility of been countries chief diplomat and foreign policy officer to re-launch Nigeria into the international community. This is mostly attributed to the international environment Buhari found himself, this situation was characterized by dwindling oil prices, terrorism and counter-terrorism, nuclear deals and neo-liberalism among others, (Aning, et al., 2017). President Muhammadu Buhari made it a cardinal objective of his foreign policy to pursue economic development by maintaining good relations with its neighbouring countries.

The results of President Buhari foreign policy has led to an overall improvement on the economic development of the country in areas like; improvement on the counter-insurgency war which led to decimation of Boko Haram, improved relations with China in order to foster economic development through provision of needed infrastructures, improvement in the information technology of the country, implementation of the sustainable development goals which has led to the creation of several employments opportunities through the Npower scheme, and as well as the improvement of the economy and fighting corruption.

Based on the above, the objective of this research is to have a comparative analysis of President Muhammadu Buhari foreign policy and its economic development under his civilian administrations in order to understand the change of foreign policy direction under his administration and how these foreign policies has impacted the development of the country’s economic.


1.2. Statement of the Problem

The goal of every foreign policy is to establish and maintain a friendly relationship with other nations as well as to attain economic development and build a good image for a nation and meet its national or domestic interest. This invariably implies that, foreign policy is vital in formulating, maintaining and sustaining a nation’s development. Nigeria‚Äôs foreign policy since independence has been perceived from diverse point of views, (Aluko, 2011; Anyaele, 2017). One of the most prevailing perspectives of Nigeria‚Äôs foreign policy is that, it is chameleon in nature, (Anyaele, 2017), a foreign policy constantly in a state of flux as a result of internal and external dynamics inherent in any given administration or regime.

The following problems are identified;

  1. If Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Muhammadu Buhari regime have any implication on Nigeria’s economic development
  2. Whether Nigeria’s foreign policy on industrialization has led to employment creation in the country
  3. If Nigeria’s foreign policy on security has enhanced the fight against terrorism in Nigeria
  4. To identify the challenges encountered in the implementation of Nigeria’s policy under President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The above stated problems are crucial to the economic development of the country because, many of the strategies put in place for the implementation of Nigeria’s foreign policy in the country have continued to varied from one administration to the another, and this has posed a challenge to the economic development of the country, as there is lack of government continuity of policy in the country.

Therefore, due to the above, the research work therefore aims at assessing Nigerian foreign policy and its economic development under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration from 2015-2020. The research will as well find out the achievements of foreign policy under the President Muhammadu Buhari civilian administration.


1.3. Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine the Nigerian foreign policy and its economic development under President Muhammadu Buhari civilian administration. The specific objectives are to;

  1. Determine if Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Muhammadu Buhari regime had any implication on Nigeria’s economic development.
  2. Examine if Nigeria’s foreign policy on industrialization has enhanced employment creation in the country
  3. Ascertain the challenges in the implementation of Nigeria’s policy under President Muhammadu Buhari administration

1.4. Research Question

The following research questions were posed for the study.

  1. Did Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Muhammadu Buhari have any positive impact on Nigeria’s economic development?
  2. To what extent is the influence of Nigeria’s foreign policy on industrialization enhanced employment creation in the country?
  3. What are the challenges encountered in the implementation of Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Muhammadu Buhari administration?

1.5. Research Hypotheses

Based on the above research questions and objectives of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated in their null form.

Ho1: Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Muhammadu Buhari regime does not have a positive impact on Nigeria’s economic development.

Ho2: Nigeria’s foreign policy of industrialization does not lead to employment creation in the country.

Ho3: Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Muhammadu Buhari does not encounter any challenge.


1.6. Significance of the Study

This study will be of significance to the immediate community/society at large, government policy(ies) and academia.

  1. To the immediate community or society at large, the findings of this study will help the society and public at large have necessary information on foreign policy and how it can be implemented successfully in order to facilitate development in the country.
  2. To the policy makers, the study will be of paramount importance to policy and decision makers in order to trace the historical development of Nigeria foreign policy and formulate policies that will aid economic development across all sectors in the country.
  3. To the academia, the findings of this study will enable them have a broader knowledge and understanding on the concept of Nigeria foreign policy and economic development and to come up with relevant articles that will aid further research on the topic, and how it can be carried out successfully in a country in order to enhance economic development.
  4. Lastly, this study will be useful to future researchers who may be focusing on understanding the concept of foreign policy will be able to use the findings in this study for future studies that will create a huge positive impact on the society.

1.7. Scope of the Study

This study examined Nigeria’s foreign policy and its economic development under the administration of President Buhari 2015 to 2020. Other areas which this study covers include the key achievements of President Buhari foreign policy as regards economic development such as political stability, regional security, and international participation; and the economic developments of past administration of Goodluck Jonathan are covered in this research. However, the research will be limited to the foreign policy implementations of President Buhari in Nigeria.


1.8. Operational Definition of Terms

Administration:

The act of administering; government of public affairs; the service rendered, or duties assumed, in conducting affairs; the conducting of any office or employment; direction.

Economic Development:

Is the increase in the standard of living in a nation’s population with sustained growth from a simple, low-income economy to a modern, high-income economy

Foreign Policy:

Is a country’s response to the world outside or beyond its own frontier or boundaries.

National Interest:

Is a concept often used in understanding the foreign policy of a particular state. It is in principle, taken to be geared towards the overall political, economic, social and cultural developments of the sovereign state


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1. Summary of the Study

This study examined Nigerian Foreign Policy and its Economic Development under Muhammadu Buhari Administration. The chapter one of this study discussed the background to the study, statement of research problems, research objectives, research questions and hypotheses, significance and scope of the study and the operational definition of terms. This study identified three (3) research objectives which are to; determine if Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Muhammadu Buhari regime had any implication on Nigeria’s economic development; examine if Nigeria’s foreign policy on industrialization has enhanced employment creation in the country; and to ascertain the challenges in the implementation of Nigeria’s policy under President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The chapter two of this study examined the review of literature in the subject matter by looking at the conceptual, the theoretical and empirical reviews. The chapter two provides us more insight into the concept of foreign policy, Nigeria’s foreign policy in retrospect, challenges facing Nigerian foreign policy, achievement and summary of president Buhari foreign policy, and economic development. The study however adopts the linkage theory. The theory establishes that domestic factors influence foreign policymaking and vice versa, thereby causing a linkage between the national and international affairs of a state

The chapter three discussed President Muhammadu Buhari foreign policy in Nigeria, which are, Nigeria-United States Relations, Nigeria-ECOWAS countries Relations, and Nigeria-China Relations.

The chapter four discussed the empirical findings and the findings revealed that, Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Muhammadu Buhari regime have a positive impact on Nigeria’s economic development. Also, Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Muhammadu Buhari does encounter a lot of challenges such as corruption, insecurity arising from Boko haram and Fulani herdsmen terrorism, articulation of National interest, primordalism, legislative-executive relations, and lastly, the restriction of Nigeria’s foreign to continental affairs. Finally, the study revealed that, Nigeria’s foreign policy of industrialization has not been able to address the issue of unemployment in the country.

Finally, the chapter five of this study will discuss the summary, conclusion and will as well make recommendations on the subject matter.


5.2. Conclusion

This study examined Nigerian foreign policy and its economic development under Buhari administration from 2015-2020. It is no gainsaying that Nigeria’s foreign policy is fraught with myriad challenges which over the years have debilitated its expected performance, among all, corruption and insecurity is the major factors. Therefore, it is very important that, Nigeria’s foreign policy be urgently reviewed and repackaged in the light of the challenges of the globalized world order, in order to make it more efficient and result oriented. There is the need for Nigeria to adopt a sound economic policy as a fundamental pre-requisite for conducting effective foreign policy cannot be overemphasized.

Despite the concerted efforts by the past administrations in Nigeria since independence to reposition the country’s foreign policy to make it more assertive and robust with a view to boosting the country’s international image, the results have been, in a number of cases, counter-productive. Therefore, foreign policy constitutes a critical component of a country’s conduct of public policy as it relates to other actors (both state and non-state) in the larger international system or the external environment. As a result of the importance of foreign policy in a country’s agenda, consideration must be given to all the important actors on the international scene that affect the policy-making and implementation processes of the country concerned.

So far, in order to enhance to the economic development of the country, President Buhari foreign policy decisions have included relations with other nations, international and non-governmental organizations, institutions and agencies, as well as individuals, which have had impact on the system of inputs and outputs. Since all foreign policies spring from the economic base of a state, Nigeria’s economic base should be re-orientated in such a manner that the country’s dependency structure would be removed and a national economy that is capable of sustaining a realistic foreign policy goal be built. Therefore, it is politically logical that Nigeria aligns her foreign policy with her real economic status, and not imaginary one.


5.3. Recommendations

Based on the conclusion above, the following recommendations were posed:

  1. It was recommended that, there is the need for a strong strategic plan and long term projection of the nation’s foreign policy posture with a view to fashioning out a roadmap for Nigeria’s diplomacy
  2. The study recommends that, in order to tackle the menace of insecurity such as terrorism which has affected the Northern state economy in Nigeria, it is important that the government equip the security agencies with adequate tools, gadgets and equipment so as to combat insecurity. In addition, the government should partner with foreign security institutions or countries in order to fight against terrorism
  3. It was recommended that, the issue of corruption which is a major direction of Buhari foreign policy be given top priority and should as well partner with foreign bodies so as to recover the loot taken to foreign countries.
  4. The study recommends that, the government should give adequate attention to the growing rate of unemployment in the country, which has increased the country poverty and crimes rate in Buhari administration.
  5. The study recommends that, Nigeria foreign policy should be focused on how to enhance the development of the country by focusing on underdevelopment, unemployment, poverty, and other challenges facing the economy of the country.
  6. The study as well recommends that, Nigeria should stop allocating meagre amount of money for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerian embassies abroad because the international system is an arena of power politics which is characterised by the survival of the fittest, and for Nigeria to survive, it is crucial that the country allocate adequate money to her foreign affairs personnel and institutions so that the country’s foreign objectives could be achieved.
  7. The study recommends that, it is of great importance to strengthen the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with adequate staffing and direction. In order to move forward, the Ministry should be freed from those who from the outside exercise authority over the ministry without taking responsibility for their shortcomings. In addition, the Foreign Affairs Ministry should be allowed to take charge of the formulation and execution of Nigeria’s foreign policy, and to take credit or blame for its failures and successes.
  8. It was recommended that, Nigeria’s foreign policy in present-day must be premised solely on national interest with emphasis on national security and welfare, regional and global peace, as well as robust multilateral diplomacy that is tailored along strong strategic partnership with friendly states in the global arena
  9. The study recommends that, the federal government of Nigeria needs to set positive mechanisms in place to birth new foreign policies that will contain the crisis of underdevelopment, the challenges of poverty, leadership, political development, and a host of other maladies and launch her as a modern state, into the twenty first century in order to realize her full potentials and cravings for continental and global leadership.
  10. The study as well recommends that, with the vibrant Diaspora population of Nigeria abroad, it is important that Nigeria constantly engaged with them in order to contribute to national development.

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