Government Notes

Nigeria’s foreign policy


  1. Geographical location of Nigeria is one of the factors that affect the formulation and implementation of foreign policy. The geographical size of Nigeria as the largest coupled with its population, natural resources etc imposes leadership roles on the country.
  2. Demographic Factor: Demography means the population of the country. In terme of population, Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa and the entire black world. The large population of Nigeria contributes a lot to her strength and as a result, the country is expected by other countries in Africa to play a leadership role.
  3. Historical Experience: Nigeria’s foreign policy can also be conditioned by its historical experience. Nigeria was colonized by Britain and this colonial experience can affect her foreign policy.
  4. National Interest: The primary task of those involved in foreign policy is to articulate the interest of the country. This should form the basis of Nigeria’s foreign policy. The interest of the people must be promoted, which has the capacity of shaping a nation’s foreign policy.
  5. The Military Strength of Nigeria: The country’s military strength might be an advantage to her foreign policy.
  6. Government: The type of government we have can also affect our foreign policy. Since Nigeria gain independence we have had two main types of government; military and civilian
  7. Public Opinion: The opinion of people on issues of national importance can affect Nigeria’s foreign policy. For example , the demonstration of University of Ibadan students against the Anglo-Nigeria Defense Pact in 1961 and the rejection of I.M.F. loan in 1985.
  8. Ideology: Countries relates with countries that have the same ideology than with those with opposing ones.


  1. State 5 factors that affect Nigeria’s foreign policy
  2. List two countries that share the same ideology with Nigeria.


  1. The President: The formulation of Nigeria’s foreign policy is the primary function of the President of the country.
  2. Consultation: Consultations are made with Nigeria diplomats, foreign mission experts, the business community and leaders of thought for advice on issues from time to time.
  3. The Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The President is assisted in policy formulation by the Minister and the officials of the Ministry of foreign affairs. This ministry is involved in carrying out matters as they relate to the welfare of Nigerians living abroad. Also promote and enhance a conducive atmosphere for a cordial relationship between Nigeria and other nations of the world.


  1. Friendship and co-operation with other nations which recognize and respect their sovereignty.
  2. Non- Alignment with any of the power blocs and consideration on the issues of their merits, having regards for Nigeria’s national interest.
  3. Africa regarded as the center piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
  4. Belief in the sovereign equality of States and non interference in the internal affairs of other states.
  5. Eradication of colonialism in Africa e.g Apartheid in South Africa and Liberation movement in Southern Africa.
  6. Helping African countries to attain political independence.
  7. Peaceful Resolution of Conflict: Joining other states to find peaceful resolution to crisis as in ECOMOG troops in Liberia and Sierra Leone.


  1. Highlight five features of Nigeria Foreign Policy
  2. What is the primary function of the President of the country?


  1. How is Nigeria foreign policy formulated?
  2. How has history affected Nigeria’s foreign policy?
  3. What are the goals of Nigeria’s foreign policy?


Nigeria and the world

Comprehensive Government by J.U. Anyaele pages 205

Essential Government by C.C. Dibie pages 227-228


  1. The following factors affect Nigeria foreign policy except (a) demography (b) poverty (c) national interest
  2. The following are responsible for the formulation of Nigeria’s foreign policy except (a) Senator (b) President (c) Minister of foreign affairs
  3. The power to pardon any citizen charged with any criminal offence lies with the (a) legislature (b) judiciary (c) executive
  4. The verdicts of judges which are binding on lower courts are called (a) judicial order (b) precedents (c) oath
  5. The concept of separation of powers was popularized by (a) Baron de Montesquieu (b) Harold Laski (c) Thomas Hobbes.


  1. Explain the factors that can affect Nigeria’s foreign policy

Explain the relationship between national interest and foreign policy. 

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