Nigeria has foreign relations with a number of countries and is also a member of several international organizations and such memberships form some of the basis for the Nigerian foreign policy. Some of these international bodies are the World Trade Organization, The World Tourism Organization, The World Metrological Organization, The World Health Organization, United Nations, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Interpol, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, The G-19, G-24, G-77, G-15, Economic Community Of West African States, Commonwealth Of Nations, etc.
Aside the above organizations, Nigeria has direct international relations with a host of countries, like Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Libya, Niger, Bangladesh, China, India, Israel, Pakistan, South Korea, Turkey, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Greece, Mexico, Russia, United Kingdom and United States.
Advantages of foreign relations
Nigerian foreign relations bring the country into certain agreements with those other countries. In most instances, such agreements are economic-based. Consequently, the foreign countries in partnership with Nigeria come down to establish their businesses in Nigeria. This promotes Nigerians economy by improving on employment rate.
There are times agreements signed with other countries are based on security. A very good example is the security pact among Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger Republic and Chad against the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Many individuals will agree that the particular coalition was largely responsible for the quick quelling of the incessant attacks perpetrated by this dreaded group.
Few months after president Muhammadu Buhari came to power, he made a journey to Dubai and signed a bilateral agreement with that country with a view to curtailing the rate at which corrupt elements in Nigeria dump their loots in Dubai and to enable easy identification and seizure of all the properties owned by these corrupt elements in that country. This had helped in curtailing corruption to a great extent in Nigeria.
Nigerian foreign policies have opened the door to infusion of foreign technologies in virtually all areas of the Nigerian economy and this is undoubtedly a plus to the Nigerian state. The Nigerian foreign policy gives room for amicable settlement of misunderstandings with other countries; this brings to mind the resolution of the South African crises some months ago. Nigeria is able to trade with these other countries very easily too
Be that as it may, the Nigerian foreign policy also has its loop holes and demerits.
Disadvantages of the Nigerian foreign policy
The Nigerian foreign policy opens the door to foreign investment and foreign technology as hinted earlier, thereby inflicting damage on home-grown investment and industrialization. This may, in the long run, lead to modern-day economic colonization if care is not taken.
Foreign relations with a particular country can lead to negative impact on the Nigerian state if there is a government change in that other country. The Brexit hullaballoo is a very good example; Nigerian investments in the UK are sure to suffer one way or the other due to the economic downturn the Brexit issue will lead to in Britain.
International relationship can also have negative impact on the Naira. Growth in other countries’ currencies, can lead to fall in the Naira.
Foreign relations with other countries may also lead to security challenges, which may question the sovereignty of the country.