ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY AND CONDUCT OF NIGERIA’S EXTERNAL RELATIONS: ANALYSIS OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY (NEEDS)
The study examined the nexus between economic diplomacy and conduct of Nigeria’s external relations with emphasis on the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS). The broad objective of this study was to examine how the use of economic diplomacy helped in the implementation of the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy; and the implication for sustainable development of Nigeria. The central thesis of this study was that the use of economic diplomacy in the conduct of Nigeria’s external relations is pronounced each time the political leadership is desperately pursuing received development model from advanced capitalist economies. The study was based on survey research design. Particularly, we adopted trend pattern of longitudinal research design. We adopted secondary source of data collection and hence, relied more on library materials and relevant primary documents from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. We also relied on materials from United Nations International Development Organization, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization and internet materials. Content analysis of texts, journals, seminars/conference papers, official publications, magazines, newspapers and other published and unpublished materials were effectively utilized. We adopted a logical data framework which enabled us use some basic propositions emanating from the Marxian political economy paradigm to analyze our data. The findings of this study revealed that the economic diplomacy of National Economic Empowerment and
Development Strategy did not reduce the incidence of poverty in Nigeria. Secondly, the study revealed that economic diplomacy of National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy did not reduce the incidence of unemployment in Nigeria. Again, the study revealed that economic diplomacy of National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy remarkably enhanced the inflow of foreign direct investment from advanced capitalist economies to Nigeria. Finally, the study revealed that the economic diplomacy of National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy was responsible for the debt relief extended to Nigeria by international financial institutions. The study recommended among others, a pro-active foreign policy of economic diplomacy that will enhance sustainable development of Nigeria.
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