NIGERIA’S FOREIGN POLICY AND ITS IMPORTANCE TO NATION BUILDING

Oxford Dictionary defines the word Importance as the state or fact of being of great significance or value. The importance or significance or value of Economic Relations can never be overemphasized as it is needed in order to strengthen the bilateral ties and in order to strengthen socio economic growth within the countries involved. The establishment of groups such as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization, etc all share the common interest in either health, security, culture and other activities.

The University of New York puts Foreign policy as the mechanism national governments use to guide their diplomatic interactions and relationships with other countries. A state’s foreign policy reflects its values and goals, and helps drive its political and economic aims in the global arena.

Saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that Nigeria’s foreign policies are upheld, in 1960, the Federal Government of Nigeria established the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which is devoted to vital national interests of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The promotion of African Integration and unity, international cooperation for the consolidation of Global Peace and many more became the responsibility of the ministry. In addition, the ministry of foreign affairs was to promote the democratic values of the country through the formulation, articulation and implementation of Nigeria’s Policy objectives for the benefit of the nation, and her citizens. It was strongly believed that the establishment of the ministry of foreign affairs would position Nigeria as a major player in world affairs, earning the respect of the People of Africa, and at large, the international community.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the following were highlighted as major importance of Foreign Policy in Nigeria:

  • Promotion and protection of Nigeria’s national interests;
  • Representing and protecting the interests of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Nigerian citizens, and legal entities abroad;
  • Promotion of African integration and support for African unity;
  • Promotion of international cooperation for the consolidation of universal peace and mutual respect among nations and elimination of discrimination in all its manifestation;
  • Respect for international law and treaty l as seeking settlement of the internal dispute by negotiation, mediation, conciliations, arbitration, and adjudication; and
  • Promotion of a just world economic order.

The vision and goals of the Ministry is the pursuit of Nigeria’s interests, foreign policy, promote international relations and guarantee the dignity of Nigerian citizens in diaspora as well as that of foreigners in Nigeria. The aforementioned importance of this ministry in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. In achieving global recognition as a world power, asides becoming a strong and viable economy, Nigeria would require the unwavering support of other countries in the continent and also align with world powers. While the impact of the ministry of foreign affairs may be contentious, it still remains one of the most important ministries in the country.

ThankGod E. Airiohuodion (AwakeNigeria)

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