In a bold move to expand its international influence, Nigeria is actively pursuing membership in the BRICS economic bloc and the G-20 group of nations within the next two years.
This strategic shift in foreign policy is driven by the nation’s aspiration to have a more significant voice in key global political and economic platforms.
BRICS Membership Aspirations
Yusuf Tuggar, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, has articulated its readiness to choose its international affiliations independently, emphasizing that being aligned with multiple organizations aligns with Nigeria’s best interests. “Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be; being multiple aligned is in our best interest,” Tuggar stated. He further justified Nigeria’s aspirations to join BRICS and the G-20, citing the nation’s large population and significant economy as key qualifiers for inclusion in such groups. “We need to belong to groups like BRICS, like the G-20 and all these other ones because if there’s a certain criterion, say the largest countries in terms of population and economy should belong, then why isn’t Nigeria part of it?” Tuggar remarked.
G-20 Membership Endeavors
President Bola Tinubu’s administration is also considering applying for G-20 membership, following a thorough evaluation of the potential benefits and risks. The president’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, highlighted that Nigeria’s quest for G-20 membership is part of a broader strategy to encourage foreign investment and stimulate economic growth. Nigeria’s attendance at the G-20 summit in India, at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was a step towards promoting this objective. South Africa is the only African member of the G-20, a group comprising the world’s 20 most industrialized nations. Tinubu’s government, keen on reform, is focused on attracting investments to address challenges like record debt, a weak currency, and high inflation rather than relying on borrowing.
Regional Stability and Niger’s Political Situation
In addition to these international ambitions, Nigeria maintains a strong commitment to regional stability, particularly regarding the political situation in neighbouring Niger. Tuggar expressed optimism about Niger’s future, emphasizing Nigeria’s unwavering support. “We’re not going to give up on Niger, we think that this is transient. So definitely, they will have to come back on track,” he said. This stance underscores Nigeria’s role as a stabilizing force in the region, advocating for democracy and peaceful transitions of power.
Nigeria’s move to join the BRICS and G-20 blocs marks a significant shift in its foreign policy, reflecting the nation’s growing assertiveness on the global stage. By leveraging its economic and demographic strengths, Nigeria aims to shape international discourse and contribute more profoundly to global economic and political dynamics.