DOMESTIC POLITICS AND FOREIGN POLICY DYNAMICS IN NIGERIA: AN APPRAISAL OF OBASANJO’S ADMINISTRATION, 1999 – 2003

ABSTRACT
Nation-States are embedded in a complex international system, and there is always an interaction between one state and another for the accomplishment of certain objectives which are most of the time necessitated by the domestic demands of an individual state. This implies that the relationship between one state and another in the international system, is often influenced by internal and external factors. The extent of the relationship between domestic politics and foreign policy in Nigeria by 1999 form, therefore, the nexus of this study. Thus, it sets out to investigate the demands of the Nigerian government in 1999 based on the
prevailing realities that confronted the Obasanjo’s administration on its emergence. Among the issues were the quest for political stability vis-a-viz the protection of the nascent civilian rule from military Coup d’etat and industrialization of the country with a view to arresting the depressed economy. On this premise, the study was guided by the broad question: Is there any direct linkage between domestic politics of protecting the new civilian government and industrialization of the state, and the foreign policy strands of military alliance and economic liberalisation in Nigeria from 1999 to 2003? The exploration of this question led to the
generation of three specific question (1) Is there any significant positive relationship between Nigeria’s military professionalisation policy for political stability and the foreign policy dimension of military alliance from 1999 to 2003? (2) Does Nigeria’s quest for industrialisation have any direct link with the foreign policy posture of trade liberalisation from 1999 to 2003? (3) Did the liberalisation of foreign direct investment impact positively on reduction of unemployment in Nigeria within the period (1999 to 2003)? The execution
of this study engaged the separate sample pretest-posttest research design of the notation system. Through the design, the population of the study and its sampling technique are shown. The data for the study were generated through primary and secondary sources. The primary source was based on the use of interview technique. The secondary sources on the other hand, centred on published materials like books, journals, periodicals and internet materials and the examination of records. Our findings indicate that the foreign policy dimension of military alliance with the United States impacted positively on military professionalisation in Nigeria. This is because, the Nigeria military came to know more that the consolidation of civil rule was one of the demands of the contemporary globalised capitalist production process. Thus, there was neither Coup d’etat nor attempted one against the flickering Nigerian civilian rule from 1999 – 2003, and even beyond it. Trade liberalization did not favour the Nigeria’s textile industry in the areas of employment creation and expansion of textile firms. The liberalisation of foreign direct investment in the telecommunication sector brought about a profound employment generation in Nigeria. In conclusion, we demonstrated that a functional relationship exists between domestic politics and foreign policy. This inference is drawn because, while the Nigeria’s search for political stability necessitated the military professionalisation policy and the foreign policy dimension of military alliance, that of industrialization led to the foreign policy posture of the liberalization of trade and foreign direct investment so as to address the domestic depressed economy inherited by the administration in 1999.

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