IMPACT OF FOREIGN POLICY DECISION MAKING ON NIGERIA'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, 1960-2015

RESEARCH PROPOSAL Background to the Study Independent countries use economic indices such as inflation, trade deficits, unemployment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to measure the performance of their country’s economic development and the workability of its foreign direct investment policy. Taken together, these statistical leading indicators create a data map that countries use to define their foreign policy.  Understanding the politics of GDP, the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration directed the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to rebase the country’s GDP which invariably put it to $509.9 billion in 2013 making Nigeria to become the 27th largest economy in the world and first in Africa.[1] This was intended to expose sectors where Nigeria’s economy has recorded dynamic growth and the need for expanded foreign direct investment inflows. However, not every regime in Nigeria has pursued this strategic economic policy. It is therefore, the intent of this study to examine the foreign policy of each regime in lieu of the country’s economic growth taking the GDP as the measuring statistical yardstick for each government since 1960 up to 2015. The political regimes in Nigeria can be classified into military and civilian. Of the 55 years of independence (1960-2015), 28 years have seen military regimes ruled. The civilian regime following independence was parliamentary, fashioned after the British model,while the 1979-1983 civilian regime was modelled after the American presidential system.[2] A common trend was the military seizing power after accusing the preceding regime (military or civilian) of corruption, nepotism, ineptitude and the inability to offer solutions to the economic problems of the country. Each of the governments had been quick to promise and express the desire to improve the standard of living of the vast majority of the people by stimulating growth and development[3]. Generally, Nigeria’s increasing profile in its foreign relations implies that the nation has regained its role as a leading player in multilateral politics and diplomacy. It can be said therefore that during the period (covering 1960-2015) Nigeria’s foreign policy has changed over time with each regime reflecting the domestic economic environment. Objectives of the Study The broad aim of this study is to examine Nigerian foreign policy and economic development from 1960 up to 2015. This study seeks to achieve the following objectives: (i) Provide a detailed background of Nigeria’s foreign policy under successive governments from 1960 to 2013 by using the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to measure their economic performance;

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