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Nigeria to embrace China, Russia, US as competition for $473 billion economy toughens

May 14, 2024

The Nigerian government has said it will get along with rival economic powerhouses such as the United States, China and Russia as they all seek to cut their slices of cake from a $473 billion economy.

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, told  MSNBC in an interview during his working visit to the US after the  US-Africa Business Summit and the U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission meetings held in both countries recently.

Tuggar uploaded the video of the interview via his X page on Monday night.

He was asked to comment on the military and economic contests of the US, China, and Russia on the African continent.

The question came amid the Federal Government’s rebuttal of plans to allow any foreign military base in Nigeria.

The minister maintained on Monday that Nigeria’s position on the three countries will remain strategic.

He acknowledged the economic rivalry between the three countries but added that Nigeria will not align with one of them against others.

What he said,

“Yes, of course, we are very wary of Africa becoming the ground for contestations, great  power contestations.

“There has been a change from a bipolar world to a multipolar world, and this tends to attract  contestations by great powers. Our outlook is that of strategic autonomy.  We get along with everyone.

“We also, of course, have a history of non-alignment, but we are democratic.  We have had seven successive elections since 1999, and we don’t want to see any private military companies or mercenaries in our – on our continent. Nigeria successfully tackled the insecurity and conflict in Sierra Leone, in Liberia,  leading ECOMOG, and now we’re doing it with the Multinational Joint Task Force, along with Niger, with Cameroon, with Chad.

“And we feel that’s the way forward, as opposed to exogenous solutions.  We would rather endogenous solutions that are supported with – by countries like America  that have been great partners to Nigeria and many others on the African continent.”

Nigeria’s partnership with US

Giving further insight into his recent trip to the U.S., Tuggar said Nigeria needs to partner with America to further strengthen its foreign policy agenda.

He added that he is using the visit to push for Nigeria’s enlistment as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, saying his country has the population and is Africa’s largest economy.

He said,

” And, of course, to build on the gains that we have made so far with regards to our foreign policy agenda, which is, just like you mentioned earlier in your program, democracy, demography,  development, and diaspora, the four Ds.  And, of course, Nigeria is the largest democracy on the African continent. It is the largest country in terms of population.

“Two hundred and twenty million were set to become the third largest country in the world by the year 2050, when we will have a population of 400 million, and the largest economy. So we need to democratize the very governing organs of the world.  Nigeria needs to belong to the G20.There needs to be a reform of the UN Security Council. Nigeria needs to be in that Security Council as a permanent member.

“And we need to develop. We are fighting – we’ve been fighting terrorism for the last 15 years successfully with homegrown solutions. We have a multinational joint task force that has successfully degraded Boko Haram in the  northeastern Lake Chad region.  And, yeah, so we’re here to partner with America.

Source: NairaMetrics

Image: NairaMetrics