Government Notes

NIGERIA AND THE WORLD: Interdependence of nations and Nigeria’s foreign policy


  • Interdependence of Nations
  • Nigeria’s Foreign Policy; Meaning, Nigeria’s Foreign Policy before Independence


The world has become mutually interdependence as a result of mainly evolution in the areas of transportation and communication. No nation is an island, it becomes imperative that the nations of the world should come together and derive more benefits from one another. It is in the bid to come together to derive mutual benefit that led to the interdependence of states and nations.

Nigeria as a country is not excluded from this interaction. It is through Nigeria’s interaction with other countries in the international community and her contribution towards the maintenance of peace that Nigeria maintains friendly relations with other nations of the World. Nigeria interacts with other nations in the areas of politics, economy and socio-cultural fields. It is this interaction among nations that constitute the making of the comity of nations.


  1. It is for the economic needs of the people.
  2. To promote political influence.
  3. To promote the necessary socio-cultural relationship among nations for better understanding
  4. To promote national interest   


  1. It fosters friendly relations among the nations of the world
  2. It promotes world peace.
  3. Socio-Cultural: It makes possible to exchange ideas in areas of education, sports religion and cultural matters.
  4. It enhances the defense of the territorial integrity of a nation.
  5. It helps to attract foreign aids.


  1. It leads to cultural/social problems.
  2. It leads to unnecessary interference in the internal affairs of a state.
  3. It leads to indiscriminate dumping of inferior or poorly produced goods.
  4. Economic dependence: Heavy dependence on foreign assistance does not allow for interdependence economic policies.
  5. It is injurious to a nation’s culture.


  1. State 4 benefits of interactions among nations
  2. State 3 negative effects of interactions among nations.


Foreign policy refers to the decisions and actions taken by the policy makers of a state to pursue her interest within the global system. It can also be seen as a prudent course of action adopted by a state to achieve a certain national interest. The primary task of those involved in foreign policy is to promote the national interest of the country. The main target of foreign policy is to influence the decision and actions of other nations in the international system.


The aims and objectives of Nigeria’s foreign policy were first identified by the Prime Minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa and enunciated by Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo as follows:

  1. To promote the national interest of the country and the citizens.
  2. To promote friendship and co-operation among others nations.
  3. To uphold the principle of non-alignment with any power bloc.
  4. To show respect for the sovereign equality of all nations.
  5. To defend the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Nigeria.
  6. To defend and promote world peace
  7. To assist African states in search of solution to their problems.  


  1. What is Foreign Policy?
  2. State four aims and objectives of Nigeria’s foreign policy


Since independence, there has been a succession of military and civilian administration whose foreign policy differs in terms of ideology, style and the personality of the leaders.

Nigeria foreign policy since independence is grouped into the following different phases;

  1. The Balewa Era (1960-1966)
  2. Gowon Era (crisis and civil war period, 1966-1970)
  3. Gowon Era (post war era, 1970-1975; reconciliation, reconstruction and rehabilitation)
  4. Murtala/Obasanjo Era (1975-1979)
  5. The second republic Era (1979-1983)
  6. Buhari/Idiagbon Era (1983-1985)
  7. Babangida’s Era (1985-1993)
  8. Shonekan/Abacha’s Era (1993-1998)
  9. Abubakar Era (1998-1999) 

BALEWA ERA (1960-1966)

  1. The government pursued the policy of non-alignment
  2. It was involved in the decolonization process in Africa
  3. The government recognized Africa as the center piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy
  4. It broke diplomatic ties with France over the testing of an atomic bomb in Sahara Desert
  5. It supported the expulsion of South Africa from the Common Wealth in 1961

GOWON ERA (1966-1975)

  1. Nigeria’s foreign policy shifted from the West to the East
  2. The administration applied the 3Rs (Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation) after the Civil War
  3. The administration accepted the principle of non interference in the sovereignty of African States
  4. It played a crucial role in the establishment of ECOWAS


  1. This regime favoured decolonization and self determination of African States
  2. It gave its support to the struggle against apartheid policy in Africa
  3. The regime inaugurated a national agricultural programme called; Operation Feed the Nation (O.F.N.) in 1978.

SHAGARI ERA (1983-1985)

  1. The administration supported Zimbabwe’s independence
  2. This regime witnessed lack of dynamism and radicalism in Nigeria’s foreign policy
  3. The regime was involved in financial mismanagement of her economic resources.


  1. This regime expelled all the west Africans living illegally in the country.
  2. Relations with Britain was adversely affected during this regime.
  3. This administration maintained a strong anti-apartheid posture against South Africa

BABANGIDA ERA (1985-1993)

  1. This regime tried to bring Nigeria back to the fore front of international relation
  2. This regime launched a crusade against the dumping of toxic and retro-active waste in the continent
  3. It introduced economic diplomacy into Nigeria’s foreign policy.
  4. Nigeria was committed to a functional ECOWAS.
  5. Nigeria became very active in the area of conflict resolution and peace keeping. operation. This led to the establishment of ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG)


  1. This administration helped in restoring peace in Liberia.
  2. The regime adopted the confrontational posture with the international community.
  3. The regime was accused of abuse of human rights and as a result Nigeria was
  4. suspended from the Common Wealth.

ABUBAKAR ERA (1998-1999)

  1. The policy of reconciliation was embarked upon by this administration
  2. Those who were imprisoned by Abacha regained their freedom, while a transition programme was announced and carefully implemented.


Examine Nigeria’s foreign policy under Gowon’s regime.


  1. State four demerits of interactions among nations
  2. Examine Nigeria’s foreign policy under Babangida’s regime
  3. What were the achievements made by Murtala/Obasanjo in Nigeria’s foreign policy?


Nigeria and the World

Essential Government by C.C. Dibie pages 223-227

Comprehensive Government by J.U. Anyaele pages 202-203


  1. The main target of Nigeria’s foreign policy is

(a) to fight other nations (b) to influence the policy of others (c) to oppress others

  • Operation Feed the Nation was introduced during (a) Obasanjo (b) Gowon (c) Babangida
  • How many years did Abacha spend in office as a head of state? (a) 9 (b) 5 (c) 6
  • Which among the past military/civilian regime witnessed area boy diplomacy?

(a) Buhari (b) Babangida (c) Abacha

  • Who introduced Structural Adjustment Programme (S.A.P.) in Nigeria?

(a) Babangida (b) Obasanjo (c) Buhari


  1. Examine Nigeria’s foreign policy under Abacha’s regime

Identify four advantages of interaction among nations