August 12, 2022


Let'S Talk Law

Resurrection of NIIA: A Assessment and Agenda Environment for Nigeria’s Foreign Coverage

Geoffrey Onyeama

The Nigerian Institute of Global Affairs (NIIA) held a two-working day Virtual Roundtable on Nigeria’s International Policy on Monday, 12th and Tuesday, July 13, 2021. The concept of the Roundtable was ‘’Looking Back, Heading Forward: Setting the Agenda for Nigeria’s Foreign Plan.’’ The methodological implication of the topic is not much-fetched: the require to attract classes from the earlier working with the present to outline the new way ahead. It also involves a holistic strategy in the preference of which past concerns to draw lessons from. And probably additional significantly, it needs the articulation of which style of potential is to be wished-for and which type of agenda will be very good sufficient to empower the Government of Nigeria answer to the existing troubles of a altering environment of globalisation.

And genuine plenty of, the Roundtable was not just a system for tutorial reflections but, most noticeably, a platform for the resurrection of the NIIA, which experienced an tutorial thrombosis inflicted on it by the NIIA Governing Council, chaired by Common Ike Omar Nwachukwu. The NIIA slumbered, not to say lifeless, as a result of the thrombosis, but was introduced back to daily life by the new Director Normal, Professor Eghosa Osaghae. The NIIA is little by little starting to be yet again a residing institution. It was below this restoration energy that the NIIA held the Roundtable and also an Ambassadorial Discussion board on Nigeria-Bangladesh Relations on July 26, 2021. The excellent of the Roundtable, in terms of paper contributions, methodological strategies, theoretical analyses, and conjectural submissions, lend significantly credence to a new NIIA in the generating.

The digital Roundtable was structured into four primary areas which were organised into two classes for every day: morning and afternoon. Twelve papers have been scheduled for presentation on the initially working day, but eleven papers were being essentially introduced. The ten papers ended up scheduled for presentation on the second working day. This report focuses on some papers that hassle additional on the use of international policy as an instrument of national security, national enhancement, countrywide integration, and specifically for plan-earning and implementation.

Some Troubles of the Earlier

Professor Hassan A. Saliu gave an overview of the structures, procedures, outcomes and opinions of Nigeria’s international policy considering the fact that 1960 and noted that ‘the Presidency has, more or considerably less, grow to be the only face of Nigeria’s foreign coverage and that the job of the unoffficial channels is diminishing by the working day. Ditto for the exploration arms. The existence of these constructions has not confirmed a great deal coordination of the overseas plan.’

Much more crucial, Prof. Saliu stated the Nigerian Diaspora Commission ‘invades the coverage natural environment without the need of appropriate synergy with the Ministry of foreign Affairs,’ which still tends to make plan briefs, but its sights underneath the latest Republic, are sometimes not deemed and (are) retained in (the) darkish on some difficulties. Attendance at global fora has tested the level on deficiency of coordination in Nigerian international policy.’ On the way ahead, he prompt doing absent with advertisement hoc approaches to international plan, earning better endeavours to take care of domestic challenges, embarking on a comprehensive review of Nigeria’s overseas plan and shelling out a lot more focus to Nigeria’s relations with the Western environment.

‘’Nigeria and the Emerging Economies: China and India,’’ was the aim of the paper of Dr. Efem N. Ubi, the Director of Investigate and Studies at the NIIA. He began his presentation with a quotation that ‘the hanging detail about the world overall economy is how tiny it relies on the United States as the primary motor of growth. Because 2007, China’s speedily growing financial state has presented the biggest contribution to worldwide advancement, although 50 percent of the world’s growth more than the earlier yr has arrive from a few international locations: China, India and Russia.’

In his investigation of Nigeria’s relations with China and India, Dr. Ubi mentioned at the degree of India that India is Nigeria’s largest buying and selling spouse and Nigeria is also India’s most significant buying and selling companion in Africa. As he put it, ‘total bilateral trade in between India and Nigeria in the course of the calendar year 2019-20 registered US $13.82bn, as towards US $13.89b recorded throughout the 12 months 2018-19.’

On relations with China, Dr. Ubi had it that ‘the change of the Millennium saw a more robust Nigeria-China relation in socio-political and economic phrases, primarily in phrases of the Nigeria-China strategic Partnership arrangement, finished in 2006 and which underscored the need to have for growth of trade investments in agriculture telecommunications, vitality and infrastructure development. In this regard, Dr. Ubi strongly thought that Nigeria need to harness its marriage with the Rising Economies for its progress.

As regards Dr. Tola Ilesanmi’s ‘’Gender and Nigeria’s Foreign Coverage,’’ she furnished an exegesis of the problems of plan building and implementation. Considering that Nigeria at this time ranks amount 139 out of 156 nations around the world on the 2021 World Gender Gap Report (vide Earth Financial Discussion board, 2021), she proposed a pro-gender tactic in which a lot more females are appointed into leadership positions in the overseas and security expert services adoption of specific gender equality procedures, particularly in the framework of the Nationwide Action Plans (NAPS on Ladies, Peace and Stability and the elevation of ‘gender equality to a overseas policy priority by creating committed price range and stand-by itself funds for women’s rights packages and organisations.’

She also positioned a specific emphasis on the need to have for Nigeria to domesticate the United Nations Protection Council Resolution 1325 which needs UN Member States ‘to make certain enhanced participation of females in peace preserving missions and in the security sectors.’ A foundation for domestication can commence with the adoption of the First (2013) and 2nd (2017) National Action Program as foundation of implementation of the UNSCR 1325.

Dr. Habu Mohammed of the Political Science Department of Bayero College, Kano, observed in his possess paper, ‘Economic Diplomacy and Nigeria’s Overseas Coverage,’ that Nigeria adopted financial diplomacy in 1988 as a new direction to hasten economic revival and sustainable advancement, but beneath subsequent administrations, the plan ‘was both relegated to the qualifications or its vigorous implementation minimized to around oblivion right up until its resurgence as a overseas coverage framework of the new civilian administration in 1999.

The paper investigated what the modifications and continuities in the carry out of Nigeria’s international economic relations ended up, with emphasis on the difficulties and prospective clients in the present unipolar world. He noticed that the introduction of economic diplomacy in Nigeria is a change in the route of the country’s international plan from its traditional posture of afrocentricism and that the shuttle diplomacy embarked upon by Foreign Minister Ike Nwachukwu ‘was far more of a declaration of intent’ to the outside the house world, that financial investment possibilities abound in Nigeria, but ‘the gesture was rarely responded (to) by host international locations mostly mainly because of the local climate of the domestic environment.’

In his evaluation of ‘Nigeria and the European Union: the Cotonou Years and Beyond’, Professor Victor Adetula of the College of Jos, noticed that ‘despite some essential remarks on Nigeria-EU relations, there are some positive elements of the marriage, predominantly traceable to the time period of the Lomé Conventions. Having said that, the advantages from the Cotonou Partnership Settlement and its effects on nationwide advancement are negligible.’ He also observed the chance of the expired Cotonou Settlement becoming renewed and defined by the worldwide system ‘which has turn out to be more and more fewer charitable and characterised primarily by rising nationalism, a decrease of multilateralism, and the ongoing fragmentation of world governance architecture and global regulation.’ Therefore, he submitted that the Nigerian governing administration must pay back extra consideration, reappraise its capabilities in opposition to its values and interests, and progress its passions in the international system. For occasion, while the marriage with the EU is fascinating, Nigeria wants to critically assess its membership of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and its relevance to its progress requires and priorities.

Dr. Willie Aziegbe Eselebor wrote on ‘Border Stability in Nigeria: a Strategic Variable in International Policy,’ and observed that ‘border security remains a variable mainly because an open up (borderless) border or globalised border, without regulate are unable to assure peace, safety and development.’ As a result he opined that Nigeria ought to ‘do a situation analysis to ascertain what Nigeria realistically desires to do with its borders. He also submitted that what Nigeria ‘should tackle in agenda placing is how to … engage with UN-AU-ECOWAS in relation to peace and security and/or the job of European Union and in particular, France when it arrives to the G-5 Sahel and in the Lake Chad Basin Commission. Nigeria should aim to participate in energetic roles by way of foreign coverage earning in AU and other regional blocks.’

Professor Alaba Ogunsanwo of the Heart for Diplomatic Scientific tests and General public Affairs, Direct City College, Ibadan, spoke on “National Values, Interests and Nigeria’s International Plan in the 21st century,’ and drew attention to the point that most international locations have their values: Equality, Liberty and Fraternity for France Harmony, Benevolence, Righteousness, Courtesy, Knowledge, Honesty, Loyalty and Piety for China Daily life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness, Common Great and Justice for the United states Justice, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity for India Security of Human Dignity, Human Legal rights and Democracy for Germany, etcetera. Professor Ogunsanwo observed that these values are mainly aspirational and not necessarily highly regarded by all citizens.

On the basis of the December 2019 doc on National Security Technique, Nigeria’s values are ideals of liberty equality and justice sanctity of human daily life human dignity democracy rule of legislation free business regard for human legal rights and equal chance and access to justice. These are in addition to the values of respect for elders, honesty and accountability, cooperation, sector, self-control, self-self-confidence and ethical braveness articulated in the 2014 Nationwide Financial Empowerment Development Technique (Requires).

Furthermore, he differentiated in between and among the vital nationwide pursuits, which are hinged on countrywide survival and need that all sources be deployed strategic countrywide passions that are also crucial, but a lot less than vital and peripheral pursuits. As he set it, ‘regional safety by way of combating terrorism, insurgency and other transnational crimes, also drop below this category of strategic interests. The defence of these interests will enhance the defense of Nigeria’s very important pursuits. Peripheral interests offer with Nigeria’s international obligations, helping in humanitarian operations, etcetera.

Agenda Location and Quo Vadis

In conditions of agenda location and way ahead, in addition to the many recommendations noted previously mentioned, Professor Ogunsanwo believes that the foreseeable future of Nigeria’s international coverage depends ‘to a large extent on the achievements or failure of existing endeavours to change the financial system, sector, electricity, infrastructure and digitalisation.’ And potentially, most notably, he reported ‘it will be share hypocrisy to faux that you can promote abroad values these types of as regard of human lifestyle and the rule of regulation when no this sort of exists in Nigeria. The place there is selected prison administration of justice and thousands of Nigerians in farming communities all over the region are killed with the govt not able or unwilling to do anything, we are unable to talk about advertising justice and the regard for lives and house abroad. He who goes to equity should go with clear arms. We ought to understand to do just that with our domestic affairs.’

From the viewpoint of Professor Femi Otubanjo, whose paper is entitled ‘’Is there a Doctrine and Orientation in Nigeria’s Foreign Policy?’’, it is argued that in the 60 years of Nigeria’s independence, ‘there have been as numerous doctrines as there have been regimes, but there has been only a single significant transform of orientation.’ A doctrine ‘is the articulation of a country’s eyesight of its preferred job and priorities in its relations with other nations or the standard international process,’ whilst ‘foreign coverage orientation is the predictable disposition of a state in its relationship with other people and its choices in the worldwide method. It is the axis from which all plan options and even, devices radiate. Orientation is very substantially like a paradigm from which theories, speculation, doctrines and choices flow.’

In sum, Professor Otubanjo reported ‘doctrines have been ephemeral in Nigeria, the orientation of Nigeria’s overseas plan has transformed only the moment: from Balewa’s pro-western inclination to Gowon’s broadening of relations with the Eastern Bloc as a outcome of army requirement. All the attempts at doctrinal postulations, because then, have been based on the presumption of Nigeria’s sturdy relations with all nations and regions of the entire world.’

It is noteworthy that the submission of Professor Otubanjo is really appealing and correct on the foundation of the very good difference created amongst a international policy doctrine and a overseas policy orientation. Nonetheless, when he famous in his paper that ‘in spite of the grand declaration of non-partisanship in East-West ideological disputes, Balewa could not untie Nigeria from the umbilical wire of Nigeria’s colonial grasp and her allies,’ Professor Otubanjo is simply just implying that the Balewa authorities was aligned contrary to the official coverage of non-alignment. We keep a distinctive knowing of the subject-matter.

In this regard, it can’t be rightly argued that the Balewa government was aligned or partisan without the need of obtaining factored into the partisanship Nigeria’s national pursuits. Nigeria’s plan of non-alignment does not and never ever intended that the Authorities of Nigeria could not or are unable to align. What is noteworthy about the policy of non-alignment is that the selection to align or not to do so need to be a direct and free of charge determination of the Authorities of Nigeria, with out overseas intrusions. It will have to not be by intimidation or force. The final decision to align must be a resultant from, and a reflection of, the nationwide curiosity. A lot more importantly, the alignment have to not be plan in character.

As described by Tafawa Balewa, ‘it is far better to state briefly the rules which we acknowledged as the basis of our policies in international relations. First, it is the need of Nigeria… to stay on welcoming phrases with all nations and to take part actively in the operate of the UNO… Africa will have to not be authorized to develop into a battleground in the ideology battle. For this motive, the Congo problem should be a make a difference to be dealt with mostly by African States at the political level…’ On top of that, he pointed out that Nigerians ‘are keen to understand in advance of we hurry into the field of intercontinental politics, but we are entirely unwilling to be diverted from the beliefs which we think to be genuine. That is the motive we in Nigeria will not be found to align ourselves as a make a difference of schedule, with any particular bloc. Without a doubt, I despise the very suggestions of blocs current at all in the United Nations.’ The implication of no plan alignment is that there would be alignment but not routinely. Consequently, Nigeria’s non-alignment policy is about the sovereign freedom to determine when to align and Key Minister Balewa basically did not breach Nigeria’s coverage of non-alignment.

In his paper on ‘Imaging Nigeria’s Foreign Coverage: pinpointing the At any time Missing Backlink,’ Onoja Adagbo of the Division of Political Science of the Veritas College argued that ‘the essential crisis of Nigerian international policy is its crisis of representation apply of electrical power in relation to hegemony in a globe of States. In other words, it is not absence of industrialisation, military services functionality or a superior organised Ministry of Foreign Affairs that are blocking Nigeria from staying a case examine in energetic, credible, influential and responsible condition actor as much as the poverty of Nigeria’s representational practices and her subsequent lower rating in structural, institutional and coercive power in environment politics.’

In addressing these problems, he built a range of tips: Govt need to not depart the framing of every single overseas plan to probability elaboration of instruction in discursive functionality for Nigerians organisation of the cultural area developing a 24-hour international channel that is world technologically, protection and narratives integration of international coverage devices for the uses of representational praxis in electricity politics, etc. Talking, grosso modo and in evaluative conditions, the Roundtable was a great growth. It woke up the NIIA Investigation Fellows from their long educational slumber and also offered a renewal of alternatives for their peers in other establishments to share strategies with them on international coverage. The important challenge, having said that, is the environmental conditioning of international plan agenda placing, which was only tangentially talked over by Professor Eghosa Osaghae and Professor Alaba Ogunsanwo. The Roundtable had little conversations on the predicament of the domestic placing which has produced mental things to do pretty tough. There is the require for agenda location, for overseas policy, which is actually not the difficulty. Agenda location need to, lato sensu, be for the foreign coverage makers, as they are the noisome troubles. Place interrogatively, what type of agenda placing can be beneficial to Nigeria’s intercontinental graphic if there is picked felony administration of justice, if countless numbers of farmers ‘all more than the place are killed with the govt unable or unwilling to do anything’ to borrow the words of Professor Ogunsanwo? What style of agenda environment is necessary when international policy establishments are getting bastardised even by the Governing Councils and Overseas Ministry intended to be a supervisor and a information?