Foreign and domestic policy issues are related by the same political system and are intended to define and implement overall national goals. Foreign and domestic policy must be mutually supportive if national policy goals are to be met in a politically stable environment. A case study method was used to investigate the effects of domestic politics on Nigeria’s foreign policy, with a focus on General Murtala Obasanjo’s military administration (1975 – 1979). The review of literature on foreign policy and other related material, as well as the application of “Realist Theory,” which is based on interest, led us to the conclusion that Nigeria’s apparent inaction during the study period was an acknowledgement of its power’s limits. Against this backdrop,

According to the study, Nigeria’s foreign policy has been guided by the same principles and objectives since independence. Nigeria’s Foreign Policy initiatives and actions have been defined by one constant and firm variable, namely the protection of the country’s national interest. The study recommended, above all, that Nigeria implement a “homegrown” economic policy and honestly abide by its implementation as a panacea.



1.1 Nigerian Foreign Policy’s Historical Background

Over time, a study of Nigeria’s foreign policy has frequently under-scored the potency of its domestic contents. Akinyemi, Aluko, Gambari, Birai, and other notable scholars on Nigerian external relations demonstrated the impact of domestic conditions on the country’s attitude and behavior toward other actors in the international system.

The impact of domestic politics on Nigeria’s foreign policy was made clear to the international community on October 1, 1960, in a moving address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York by the country’s then-first Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. He noticed that:

Nigeria does not intend to routinely ally itself with any of the ideological power blocs, and Nigeria hopes to collaborate with other states for the advancement of Africa and to assist in bringing all other African territories to a state of responsible independence. Given the domestic nature of the country, its size, and natural resources, it was assumed that Nigeria would play a leading role.

in Africa. Some Scholars even discussed the country’s “manifest destiny” to lead Africa, which is surrounded by small and weak states. According to Abubakar, O.S. in his review of Gambari, the first phase of Nigerian foreign policy, one of uncertainty and timidity, coincided with the period of the First Republic (1960 – 65). The major issues at the time were the Anglo-Nigerian Defence Pact, the Congo Crisis, and African Unity; negotiations for associate status with the European Economic Community (EEC): the Rhodesian Crisis and Common Wealth relations; and Arab-Israel antagonism and the search for a cohesive policy toward the Middle East. Throughout this time, Nigeria maintained a pro-Western foreign policy stance. Nigerian Federalism dictated her conservative approach to foreign policy.

which has three strong regions and a weak center. Prime Minister Balewa had constitutional authority at the time, but it was not always matched by the political power required to override these divergent groups’ interference in Nigeria’s foreign policy. The formation of a coalition government by the two parties, Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) and National Council for Nigeria and Cameroon (NCNC), forced the Balewa government to make adjustments in order to keep the partnership viable.

As a result, Nigerian foreign policy was less dynamic between 1960 and 1965 than it would have been if the NCNC had been solely responsible. Similarly, it was far more assertive, Pan-Africanist, and neutral, particularly in the Middle East, than it would have been if

The NPC had complete control. The requirement to adapt in order to accommodate the sometimes opposing views of the

Balewa’s foreign policy was criticized for lacking consistent imagination and dynamism, as well as being characterized by ad hoc decision making that tended to be contradictory and self – defeating.

The second phase of Nigerian foreign policy was from 1966 to 1975, when there were many changes at the domestic political level. Nigeria’s external relations were distinguished by an active, positive, and influential role, particularly on the continent. Federalism’s frailty was replaced by a stronger center, with 12 states constituting the Federating Unit. The establishment of military rule under General Yakubu

Gowon dramatically altered the dimension of authority in Nigerian domestic politics and foreign policy. The discovery of the oil boom also aided greatly in allowing the country to play a more decisive leadership role in international affairs, as it increased revenue accruing to the Federal government. The previous approach to was low-key, resistant, and frequently apologetic.

African affairs needed to be altered. The experience of Biafra was also instructive, as the country developed a coherent policy toward her fellow African countries. Gowon’s integrative efforts in establishing ECOWAS and providing financial and moral support to neighboring West African countries were remarkable. Nigeria extended a hand of friendship to Eastern bloc countries such as China and the Soviet Union.

As a policy shift from the previous position. The country took a leading role in the problems of Southern Africa by increasing financial and other assistance to the Liberation Movement there. Gowon’s active role in Africa earned the country the presidency of the OAU.

Similarly, Nigeria led other African countries in severing ties with Israel in response to the latter’s hostility toward Egypt. The nature of the regime and its domestic economic situation accounted for the fundamental shift in Nigeria’s diplomatic style under General Gowon. In July 1975, General Gowon was deposed in a bloodless coup.

However, the General Murtala/Obasanjo regime achieved a significant shift in foreign policy positions. This was an administration characterized by dynamism in its foreign policy posture.

The regime worked hard to shift the country’s foreign policy to a more truly non-aligned position, particularly within the six countries.

Murtala ruled for months. The regime’s audacious move to recognize the MPLA in Angola, as well as the memorable speech to the OAU Extraordinary Summit Conference in Addis – Abeba in January 1976, remain significant turning points. Three major factors have been identified as the cause of this dynamic posture. The first is

The increased revenue from oil wealth is a factor. The other two factors are the leadership’s personality and the institutional reorganization of the foreign policy-making process that occurred during this period.

With the return to civilian rule in Nigeria (1979), the next stage in the development of Nigerian foreign policy began.

The Shagari administration’s foreign policy is only comparable to that of the Balewa Era. Some scholars and commentators believe that the Second Republic “engendered retrogression” in the country’s foreign policy as a result of its pro-Western stance. Certainly, the period of regression began during the Obasanjo administration, when the country

had a “return to subservience” experience The character of the leadership is the major factor explaining the country’s retrogressive foreign policy during the period. The National Party of Nigeria (NPN) was comprised of the most aristocratic, conservative businessmen, as well as a smattering of academicians of the same caliber. Most of them have economic and social ties to the Western elite, albeit on a minor scale.

level. This, among other things, made it difficult for them to develop an independent foreign policy that might require occasional disagreements with Western powers.

Furthermore, the nature of Nigeria’s monocultural economy, with its sole reliance on oil, was such that by 1979, the country’s level of integration into the World capitalist system was enhanced by transitional interests represented by oil companies. Between 1981 and 1982, the country’s total exports fell by 34.5 percent, and the monthly import bill reached $1 billion just one year after Shagari took over. The regime was never able to keep its electoral promises to the people. On the international stage, the regime was unable to sustain the momentum of the progressive actions taken since Murtala.

When Mohammed came to power, he was backed by the informed elites.

Indeed, Nigerian Foreign Policy reverted to the old order of passive and reactionary posture, as evidenced by the country’s policies on the Chadian Crisis, the OAU, and ECOWAS. The regime’s abysmal lack of focus and inability to respond to various domestic demands precipitated the collapse of the 2nd Republic in December 1983, with the overthrow of the government by the Buhari-led military Junta. The arrival of this administration in power was warmly received by the Nigerian people. This was largely due to the Shagari administration’s total failure. The new government was well received, particularly because it claimed to have

Murtala’s administration was an offshoot. The administration came with the intention of restructuring the economy and reestablishing its footing. It also worked hard to establish a new national leadership ethic based on discipline, public accountability, and integrity. There was also stronger support for the polisaro and recognition of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. Other policy issues, particularly the expulsion of aliens and the closure of Nigerian borders, elicited mixed reactions from neighboring countries.

Buhari’s anti-West posture, on the other hand, was remarkable in that it demonstrated its autonomy and status in decision making. Nigeria’s diplomatic relations with major powers such as the United States and the United Kingdom were severed. Nigeria demonstrated to the rest of the world in all of these instances that she was unwilling to accept insults or directives from any country, large or small. As a result of its human rights violations, the regime eventually suffered “Support Erosion,” making it easy for it to be deposed. The Babangida regime, which succeeded the Buhari regime, was described as a liberal/benevolent military regime, particularly in its early days. Like its predecessor, the administration was committed to economic restructuring, which influenced its selection of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). The program had a negative impact on Nigerians’ lives and, as expected, had serious consequences for the country’s foreign relations. The regime’s handling of the US bombing of Libya was heavily criticized, as was the regime’s OIC policy, which nearly caused serious internal upheaval.

The government had clearly succeeded in playing into the hands of the Western powers under the guise of economic diplomacy, as its economic program could be described as anything but humane. The failure of Babangida to respect the people’s mandate, as evidenced by the annulment of the June 12 Presidential election results, led to the regime’s demise after years of political transition.

Following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the interim government established by General Babangida on August 26, 1993 did not have widespread support among Nigerians. Given Nigeria’s descent into anarchy and disintegration, General Sani Abacha’s intervention on November 17, 1993 was both timely and unavoidable. During Abacha’s reign,

One of the most visible aspects of Nigeria’s foreign policy shift was the development between China and Nigeria. At the time, Nigeria and China entered into various agreements that allowed China to become involved in the oil industry.

Production, refurbishment of the long – neglected Nigeria Railway Corporation, dredging of seaports at Calabar and Warri, and development of mass – housing projects are all priorities.

5 Abacha’s foreign policy focus shifted to Asia, failing to recognize that in a globalized world, simply aligning Nigeria with Asia is insufficient. The political pressure from both home and abroad remained until Abacha’s death on June 8, 1998. Following Abacha’s death, General Abubakar Abdulsalam (rtd)

took over as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was successful in conducting

On May 29, 1999, a peaceful, free, and fair election resulted in the election of Olusegun Obasanjo as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Nigeria’s return to a position of prestige in the international community has highlighted Obasanjo’s foreign policy under democratic rule. This study is particularly interested in the impact of domestic politics on Nigeria’s foreign policy during Obasanjo’s civilian administration (1999 – 2003).

1.2 Study Objective

To evaluate the internal factors influencing Nigeria’s foreign policy.

To investigate the principles of globalization and how they affect the country.

Examine the various government responses to positioning the country in the world by formulating policies to capitalize on globalization and the challenges they face.

to investigate how the

Globalization forces have restrained Nigeria’s foreign policy and economy?

To investigate the impact of domestic politics on Nigerian foreign policy during the military administration of Murtala/Obasanjo.

To propose solutions for improving Nigeria’s foreign policy.

1.3 Importance of Research

The study examines Nigeria’s military rule from 1975 to 1979 and how it improved the country’s image abroad and allowed the country to play more active and productive roles regionally and globally. Murtala/Obasanjo, on the other hand, has traveled to many parts of the world to restore Nigeria’s poor economic implementation, which led to a breakdown in relations. However, this study will contribute to the growing body of knowledge in globalisation and its relationship with foreign policy, and will thus aid researchers who may wish to carry out similar research.

out research in related areas.

1.4 Scope and Limitations

The study looks at the relationship between foreign policy and globalization during the Murtala/Obasanjo regime (1975-1979). It is also constrained in part by the information available from books, journals, books, and internet resources. It must be done within the framework of the international community’s economic policies.

1.5 Research Methodology

Articles and text books were used to help develop this work and its relevance or contribution to existing works. Data that will aid in the advancement of this research was also gathered.

This study will employ the historical research method. As a result, findings from secondary sources are sourced; secondary sources include written documents such as government publications, documentaries, and newspapers. Added

Experts’ descriptive accounts of the impact of globalization and domestic politics on Nigeria’s foreign policy are added to this. To supplement the other sources, a desk study will be conducted with those considered authorities in the fields of history, political science, and international relations. Furthermore, this research is heavily reliant on archival materials, both online and off. Official publications cited on websites will be used as well. Secondary sources for this research will include books, journal articles, conference proceedings, seminar papers, and finally other related publications.

1.6 Review of Literature

For the purposes of this study, we will employ the principle of dependency theory, which emerged in the 1950s as a critical response to conventional approaches to economic development. emerged in the aftermath of World War II. There are two dependency theory traditions, according to Dos Santos, 2002. The first is the Marxist school, which was influenced by Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy and developed by André Gunder Frank, and has had significant ramifications in the works of Samir Amin, Theotônio dos Santos, Arghiri Emmanuel, and Anbal Quijano. The Structuralist school, which builds on the work of Ral Prebisch, Celso Furtado, and Anbal Pinto at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, is associated with the second dependency tradition (ECLAC). According to the dependence theory, developing countries rely on developed countries for assistance. Poorer countries are disadvantaged. The dependence theory will be used to examine Nigeria and its developmental policies in the face of adversity.

The world is becoming more global.

Both groups would agree that the inability of the periphery to develop an autonomous and dynamic process of technological innovation is at the heart of the dependency relationship between center and periphery. The main cause of the periphery’s underdevelopment in comparison to the center is a lack of technological dynamism and the difficulties associated with the transfer of technological knowledge. The main point of contention between the two groups was ultimately about the prospects for economic development in the periphery.

Because of the existing wide disparities between developed and underdeveloped economies, globalization has become a tool for dampening the industrialization process and, as a result, slowing the growth and development of underdeveloped economies. The primary tool of globalization, trade liberalization, ensures that industrialized countries

have access to global markets, which promotes further industrialization in developed countries while impeding the industrialization of developing economies (Omotere, 2010).


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B.G. Muhammed Domestic politics’ influence on Nigeria’s foreign policy (1993 – 2002) The MIAD Project (unpublished) Zaria, A.B.U., 2002.

Theory and Reality in Foreign Policy Making: Nigeria After the Second Republic, I. A. Gambari (Atlantic Highland, Humanities Press International, 1989), pp. 139.

M.H. Yunusa. A Comparative Study of Nigerian Foreign Policy Under Obasanjo’s Military and Civilian Administrations (1976-1979). (1999 – 2003). M. Sc. Thesis, A.B.U., Zaria, Department of Political Science (Unpublished), January 2006.

Morgenthau, H. Politics Among Nations: 5th Revised Edition

1973 (USA) edition.Pp2

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