FOREIGN POLICY AND NATION BUILDING IN NIGERIA, 1999-2017
Keywords:international relations, foreign policy, geo-political zones in Nigeria, Pluralism
In international relations, foreign policy provides the framework through which states influence or seek to influence the external world in order to attain objectives that are in consonance with their perceived national interest. Nation building is simply the search for nationhood. It represents the process of developing national consciousness among groups and individuals who cultivate a sense of love for a given state. Through nation building, impressive elements of organizations are created with respect to political, social, and economic orientations. The study essentially focused on foreign policy and challenges of nation building in Nigeria. In this case, the level of national consciousness in a state normally has implications on the extent of the people’s interest or participation on foreign policy issues. In other words, if a nation-state is properly integrated, that will impact on nation building and by extension foreign policy. The study adopted secondary means of data collection and descriptive method of analysis. The pluralist approach shall be applied as theoretical framework. The study reveals that the inability of the Nigerian state to effectively contain some centrifugal forces across the geo-political zones in Nigeria has negatively affected nation building in the country. The paper argues that the determination of Nigeria’s foreign policy since independence has remained elitist, as the various agencies involved in its formulation are either hijacked, influenced or manipulated by the powers that be. The paper recommends an overhaul of Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives to actually make it more people focused.