Received Date: October 02, 2015; Accepted Date: October 20, 2015; Published Date: October 28, 2015
Citation: Boma Lysa DA, Terfa TA, Tsegyu S (2015) Nigerian Foreign Policy and Global Image: A Critical Assessment of Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration. J Mass Communicat Journalism 5:279. doi:10.4172/2165-7912.1000279
Copyright: © 2015 Boma Lysa DA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Visit for more related articles at Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism
The study aimed at examining whether or not Nigeria’s foreign policy under former President onathan contributed in improving the image of Nigeria globally. The study adopted the descriptive survey design. A sample size of 399 was derived out of the 348,990 study population using the Taro Yamane. The data collected were presented in tables using frequency table as well as Pearson Product moment correlation coefficient, to test hypothesis. The study reveals that Nigeria's foreign policy over the years has been greatly sabotaged by inconsistencies and ambiguities. The findings also shows that more than external challenges, it is the internal challenges that are dampening Nigeria's attainment of positive international image and national transformation. Some of those challenges include leadership crisis, corruption, insurgency and terrorism amongst others. It was therefore recommended that major reorganization of the Foreign Service such that positions of the Ambassadors and other key positions will no longer be politicized and the government should integrate professional international public relations practitioners in its interaction with the international community in order to effectively boost the global image of the nation.
Foreign policy; Global image; Jonathan’s administration
Nations seek to attain different goals and objectives in the process of governing their sovereign entities. While some of the goals can be attained by the States on their own, others can only be attained with the cooperation or active support of other similar entities beyond their borders. All decisions in form of actions or reactions, dealing with such matters requiring cooperation or active support of others across the borders of a given State for their attainment, fall within the ambient of foreign policy. Thus foreign policy is authoritative actions taken by governments or those governments are committed to take in order to either maintain the desirable aspects of the international environment or to amend its undesirable aspects. Also, Hoisti in Obi defines foreign policy as the action of a state towards the external environment and the conditions usually domestic under which these actions are formulated . This invariably means that foreign policy is the category of actions a government takes to deals with defence, security, international political relations and international economic relations. As a necessarily calculated and goal-oriented activity, foreign policy is purposive. This purpose is altering or creating a condition outside the sovereign boundaries to gain national advantage, usually defined in terms of national interest. National image both at home and abroad is an ethical issue. It may appear intangible but the benefits and advantages flowing from a good image are inestimably unquantifiable. The perception of a country by members of the international community, how a country pursues its relations with others and particularly, the behaviour of its citizens at home and abroad can affect a country’s image thus, image making it an essential feature of a nation’s foreign policy.
In any country, when foreign policy initiatives are well focused, can help create and reinforce favourable images of a country to the external world. Consequently, the image a country attempts to create and project, through its foreign policy, must conform to its national interests, and the expectations of other members of the international community. Hence, Federal Ministry of Information stresses that a nation’s attempt to have a meaningful impact and influence on the world around will be guided by her foreign policy objectives and national interests and how effectively such disposition is transmitted or communicated to the world . In other words, foreign policy objectives and national interests must be systematically packaged and projected to achieve their aims.
Image building is one of the most essential responsibilities of public relations practitioners. This invariably means that public relations is concerned with how and what others thing about you either as a person or an organisation. These images or views are either favourable or unfavourable. Hence, the effort of public relations is to change negative image to positive perception.
A country's standing in the international system although dependent on some other factors, is highly dependent on the perception of her image globally. Nigeria's image has been shaped by a number of factors since 1960. These factors include Nigeria's Afrocentric policy, Nigeria's big market for Euro-American finished products, Nigeria's oil boom, Nigeria's anti-apartheid policy, Nigeria's policy of technical assistance, and several other factors that evolved over the years .
It has become very obvious that crime and corruption is the bane of Nigeria's development. The current Boko Haram insurgency in the North-Eastern part of the country speaks volume. Internationally, the pervasive corruption in Nigeria has tarnished the image of the country and has resulted in foreign nationals exercising extreme caution in entering into business transactions with Nigerians, thereby weakening the economic sector.
President Good luck Jonathan following his victory in the 2011 elections, before the anxious 100 days in office, directed presidential advisory council on international relations (PACIR) to coordinate the reforming of Nigeria's foreign policy to be investment oriented. Coupled with his interactive forum with Nigerians abroad during his foreign visits, the president asked the nation's foreign policy experts, seasoned diplomats, professionals and intelligentsia to chart a new way for the future without discarding the past. Nigeria's foreign policy under President Goodluck Jonathan's administration focused on the following:
• Improved cooperation with other military forces all over the world to bring about peace globally;
• Improved bilateral and multilateral trade relationship among nations;
• Cooperation and assistance in curbing health challenges all over the world;
• Promoting the welfare of Nigerian's abroad to ensure they are treated with respect and dignity at all circumstances.
Statement of problem
The goal of every foreign policy is to establish and maintain a cordial relationship with other nations as well as to build a good image for a nation and meet its national or domestic interest. This invariably means that foreign policy is important in formulating, maintaining and sustaining a nation's good image. The Jonathan administration, like many other administrations in Nigeria has never lacked good foreign policies. The problem of Nigeria's foreign policy that is affecting the country's image is not in formulation, but in implementation . In response to this, the research work therefore aims at investigating the effect of Nigerian foreign policy on its global image among the comity of nations during President Goodluck Jonathan's administration from 2011-2015. The research will also find out the extent of implementation of the foreign policy issues that President Jonathan focused on to implement.
Objective of the study
This research work aims to:
• To ascertain the public perception of Nigeria's image in the global community under Goodluck Jonathan's administration.
• To determine if Nigeria’s Foreign Policy under President Goodluck Jonathan policy had any implication on Nigeria's image globally.
• To ascertain the effect of Nigeria's Foreign Policy on her global image in the international community.
• To find out if there were challenges in implementing the Nigeria's Foreign policy under Goodluck Jonathan's administration.
• What was the public perception of Nigeria's image in the global community under Goodluck Jonathan's administration?
• Did Nigeria’s Foreign Policy under Goodluck Jonathan foreign policy have any positive impact on Nigerian’s image globally?
• What is the effect of Nigerian's Foreign Policy on her global image in the international community?
• What were the challenges facing the implementation of Nigeria's foreign policy Under Goodluck Jonathan's administration?
Ho: Nigeria’s Foreign Policy under President Goodluck Jonathan's administration plays no significant role in boosting Nigeria's international image.
Scope of the study
Foreign policies have been made by different government that has ruled the Nation Nigeria one way or the other. The scope of this study is to narrow the foreign policies made down to President Goodluck Jonathan's administration and the effect such policies have had on the global image of Nigeria. This research work will therefore contain a critical assessment of President Goodluck Jonathan administration's foreign policies as well as its effect on Nigeria's image globally.
Concept of foreign policy
There is no generally agreed definition of foreign policy; hence different scholars have attempted to define the concept from their own perspectives. Modelski in Obi defines foreign policy as the system of activities evolved by communities for changing the behaviour of other states and for adjusting their own activities to the international environment. Similarly, Frankel in Obi defines foreign policy as consisting of decisions and actions that involve some appreciable extent relationship between one state and another .
A country's foreign policy consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within the international relations milieu. It is the aggregate of a country’s national interest which results from the interaction of internal and external forces as perceived by the foreign policy decision makers. The approaches used are strategically employed to interact with other countries.
For countries to relate effectively with one another, foreign policy must be well defined, well thought out, and must possess direction. Hence, Adeniran in Wogu infers that foreign policy can best be understood through an explanation of what it actually is . Foreign policy, according to him consists of three elements. One is the overall orientation and policy intentions of a particular country toward another. The second element is the objective that a country seeks to achieve in her relations or dealings with other countries. The third element of foreign policy is the means for achieving that particular goal or objectives.
In recent times however, due to the deepening level of globalization and transnational activities, relations and interactions have been known to exist between state and non- state actors in the international political arena. These relations in their own way have influenced several foreign policies between nation states. The foreign policy of any nation is the external projection of some of the domestic policies of that country that may have relevance in such arena. Both domestic and foreign policies of a country are interrelated, or perhaps more accurately stated, are more inter-penetrated. It is thus appropriately defined as: A country’s response to the world outside or beyond its own frontiers or boundaries. That response may be friendly or aggressive, causal or intense, simple or complex, but it is always there. It comprises many elements – Diplomatic, Military, Trade, Economics, Social, Cultural, Educational, Sporting etc. and it varies in form and focus according to the circumstance .
Some countries can at different times be friends or enemies or valued allies, with a relatively long or short period of time. For example Nigeria broke diplomatic relations with Cote d’ Ivoire, Gabon, Tanzania and Zambia, during the Nigerian civil war (1967-1970), because they recognized and traded with Biafra –The Break way Eastern Region of Nigerian. But the relationship was restored at the end of the war. Besides, the policy of non-recognition of the apartheid regime of South Africa by Nigeria changed with the installation of a black majority rule by the African National Congress (ANC) country. The point to keep in mind is that whatever forms it takes; some response to the outside world is always there. In effect, every country must have a foreign policy in order to live and survive as an independent body in the complex, sometime dangerous, world we live in today.
Essentially therefore, countries all over the world design and implement foreign policies in order to guide their external relations as well as protect, promote and defend their vital national interests. This could be in areas like defence of territorial integrity, the promotion of economic, military, strategic and diplomatic interests and whatever a country might consider as its vital national interest. It is therefore naturally expected that Nigeria’s foreign policy ought to be fundamentally guided by her national interest which should ordinarily serve to either justify or repudiate the nation’s action or inaction in international relations. According to Yaqub, it should be understood that a county’s foreign policy should be dynamic enough to respond to the challenges that might be taking place in the world which are outside its territorial confines . Indeed the dictum in international relations is summed up by the saying that, “there is no permanent friend but permanent interest” .
Section 19 of 1979 and 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic had gone further to set the foreign policy objectives of the Nigerian state thus:
The foreign policy shall be:
• Promotion and protection of national interest;
• Promotion of African integration and support of African unity;
• Promotion of international cooperation for consolidation of universal peace and mutual respect among all nations and elimination in all its manifestation;
• Respect for international law and treaty. Obligations as well as the seeking of settlement of international disputes by negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration and adjudication and
• Promotion of a just world economic order.
The above policies as contained in the 1979 and 1999 constitution Yusuf and Akinboye averred that “the protection of our national interest has remained the permanent focus of Nigeria’s foreign policy, but the strategies for such protection have varied from one regime/ government to another”. By this statement, he infers that various governments from independence to date have pursued the same goals and objectives of Nigeria’s foreign policy but in deferent ways. Thus the Foreign Policies under Goodluck Jonathan's administration were deduced from the above and they include:
• Improved cooperation with other military forces all over the world to bring about peace globally.
• Improved bilateral and multilateral trade agreement.
• Cooperation and assistance in curbing health challenges all over the world.
• Promoting the welfare of Nigerian's abroad to ensure they are treated with respect and dignity in all circumstances.
Components of foreign policy
According to Obi Foreign policy is a product of many factors and forces . Some of these factors and forces are natural, while some are man-made. Also while some are permanent others are temporary. It is the sum total of these that are referred to as components of foreign policy. Rodee in Obi states that in devising foreign policy, a nation must consider certain basic facts of its existence . The frame of reference includes its geographical situation, population potential, economic endowment and ideological environment.
Brecher in Obi summed the components as geography, external and global environment, personalities, economic and military position and public opinion as the major components of foreign policy. Rosenau in Obi differs a bit in his own components . He listed size, geography, economic development, culture and history, great power structure alliances, technology, social structure, moods of opinion, political accountability, governmental structure, and situational factors (both external and internal).
• Geographical situation: The geographical characteristics of size, topography, shape and climate are important factors. A state with a sizeable territory, good climate, natural defence boundaries, arable land for food production and a shape which is compact and easier to defend is seen as possessing the necessary power potential that enables a state to prosecute independent foreign policy. Also, the geographical location of a country, to a very large extent determines its defence policies. Countries that have aggressive and troublesome neighbors must have a policy based on how to contain them, either through arm build-up or through military alliances. Military power: The military strength of a nation to a large extent influences its foreign policy. Countries that are militarily strong often adopt aggressive postures on issues they feel strongly about. This is because they back their tough stance with actions. Morganthau in Obi states that the dynamic force which moulds international relations is to be found in the states drive for power. Power is also a means for serving national interest. Nations that are militarily strong, most often believe that in international politics, might is right. All their policies are framed in such a way that when persuasion fails, power comes in handy to help them actualize their goals.
• Economic endowment factor: In defining foreign policy, Karl Deutsch in Obi included the pursuit and protection of a country's economic interest. This goes to show the importance of economic consideration in foreign policy. Nations necessity to engage in trade with other nations in other to sell what they have in abundance and buy what they need and do not have at all or sufficiently reflects their economic interest. The ability of every state to pursue its foreign policy successfully also depends on its economic position. Developed countries because of their developed economy have been able to pursue their foreign policy with much success.
• The decision making process: Foreign policies like domestic policies are product of various processes. The elite who make these policies are human beings, who have their individual preferences, world views and emotions. The decisions which they make to a large extent reflect their personality. Frankel in Obi states that policy choices flow inexorably from the composite images of competing elites within the political system. It is therefore very difficult to divorce the personality of a leader from the policies of his government. It is therefore apt to say that the personality of leaders plays a very prominent role in determining foreign policy of their countries.
• Population: According to Obi, though a populous nation does not automatically translate to a strong nation, population is a factor in the strength of nations. A nation’s population helps in her military might because a nation with a very small population may not have enough soldiers to turn it into a strong nation. A country's population is a very important factor in its rating and status abroad. Since countries regard populous nations as a force to reckon with, due to their numerous potentials, this affects a nation’s power position and her foreign policy.
• Public opinion: Public opinion as a factor in foreign policy making is particularly important in real democratic countries where the government cannot easily go against the grain of public opinion. Therefore foreign public opinion determines foreign policy of a country.
Review of Nigeria's foreign policy from 1999-2014
Following General Abacha’s sudden death in June 1998, General Abdusalami Abubakar, his successor, initiated a ten month transition programme that resulted in the coming to power of President Olusegun Obasanjo on 29 May, 1999. President Olusegun Obasanjo, at inauguration inherited a nation with a battered image and without credibility externally. He made efforts to build the country's image and re-integrate Nigeria into the world while regaining her lost glory through shuttle diplomacy.
Under his leadership, Nigeria assumed leadership of several international organizations like the ECOWAS, African Union (AU) and G- 77. Nigeria also hosted several international summits including those of the Commonwealth Heads of States and the AU in 2004, the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) in 2005 and ECOWAS since 1999.
The foreign policy direction by the Obasanjo administration was intended to address and redress the perceived inadequacy inherent in concentricism African centred foreign policy): which was the fact that “concentricism was not at all an objective but a means; it was more or less a foreign policy tactic that had not been fully taken advantage of; and as a means to an end, concentricism had to have focus” .
Consequently, Obasanjo’s foreign policy was largely shaped by the above philosophy, which guided his diplomatic approaches to issues in regional and global politics. He nonetheless, set out in achieving this lofty principle through a number of approaches. The most visible was his deliberate decision to personally embark on shuttle political diplomacy, earning him the title of the most travelled Nigerian Head of State in Oluyemi .
President Obasanjo was succeeded by the Late Umaru Musa Yar'Adua. The election that brought President Yar'Adua into power was reported by international observers as being flawed and most rigged in Nigeria. The European Union specifically criticised the 2007 elections as being seriously faulty and did not meet the required international standards. The democratic credibility of the country became questionable as a result .
Late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was reputed to have introduced the concept of “citizen diplomacy” as the thrust of Nigeria’s foreign policy. According to Agbu citizen diplomacy is a political concept depicting the involvement of average citizens engaging representatives of another country either inadvertently or by design . Agbu stressed that the concept sometimes refers to “Track Two Diplomacy”, which connotes unofficial contacts between people of different nations, as differentiated from official contacts between governmental representatives . He also argued that the concept was construed by Nigeria under President Yar’Adua to mean that Nigeria’s foreign policy would henceforth be focused on the Nigerian citizens at home and in the Diaspora.
At the time President Yar'Adua came into office, it was worthy of note that his health had been severely threatened. While he was trying to manage his ill-health, Yar'Adua made no provisions for the Vice President to act in his absence. Thus, the consequence was that the ship of the Nigerian state was sailing rudderless on the international waters of foreign policy. Without functional institutions and without a leader, Nigeria's foreign relations and indeed the State of Nigeria also went into coma when Yar'Adua went into coma in Saudi Arabian hospital. Nigeria failed to show up at important international meetings, lost many positions in multilateral associations, forsook obligations, and found herself in a situation where many of her allies started wondering what had gone wrong with Nigeria This eventually led to the death of late Yar'Adua on May 5th 2010, his Vice, former President Jonathan was appointed acting president of Nigeria until the 2011 election where he won the seat of the president of Nigeria.
The foreign policy position of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan who succeeded the late Yar’Adua is generally perceived as a continuation of the foreign policy thrust of his predecessor . In his capacity as the acting President, Jonathan embarked on a number of diplomatic shuttles, as part of a deliberate attempt to reassure the world that Nigeria was well and secure despite the internal political challenges especially with the challenges of succession it was going through. Nigeria literally returned to the international arena. One of the shuttles took him to the USA where he met with his American counterpart which enabled the delisting of Nigeria from the discriminatory rule of the Department of Homeland Security on special screening of passengers on international flights to the United States that specifically targeted Nigerians (consequent upon the Christmas day attempted bombing a US airline by a Nigerian Abdu Mutallab. Also, Jonathan recalled Nigeria’s ambassador to Libya in protest of suggestion by Muammar Gaddafi that Nigeria should separate into a Muslim North State and a Christian South. The action was aimed at checkmating the excesses of the then Libyan leader and sending a strong signal that Nigeria can no longer tolerate such undue interference in the nation’s internal affairs from any State.
The relationship between Nigeria and US continued to improve under Jonathan. This is most exemplified in the signing of the first US– Nigeria Bi-national Commission. This Alao noted, aimed to establish a mechanism for sustained, bilateral, high-level dialogue to promote and increase diplomatic, economic and security co-operation between the two countries. The Commission’s main focus was Nigeria’s domestic priorities. These key domestic priorities include good governance, electoral reform and preparations, transparency and anti-corruption, energy (electricity supply) reform and investment, as well as food and agricultural development, which were all key components of what Jonathan, termed his transformation agenda .
In fact, he engineered a purposeful mobilisation and instrumentalisation of Nigerians in Diaspora for national development. Not only did the administration encourage the formation of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) in all countries where there are Nigerians, it went further to establish a Diaspora Commission to take charge of the affairs of Nigerians in Diasporas and ensure their effective instrumentalisation. His prompt response to the denigrating deportation of Nigerians by South Africa sent a very strong signal that Nigeria “has come of age” and that any attempt to denigrate her will have consequences. The diplomatic way president Jonathan was able to manage the said Nigeria-South Africa face-off was highly welcomed by Nigerians. He was also quick to order the evacuation of Nigerians trapped in the crisis torn countries like Libya in 2011 and Egypt in January 2012. In fact Nigeria was the first to airlift her citizens from Egypt. In January 2012 Nigeria hosted the fifth Nigeria/EU dialogue aimed at streamlining migration in a globalizing world and in the interest of all parties. This affirmative action’s projected vividly the citizen centred focus of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy.
The Jonathan administration gave special attention to the improvement and strengthening of economic ties with the country’s partners in the international community as a foundation for stability and growth Nwankwo .
For the first time, there were conscious efforts by Nigeria to ensure that her sacrifices of lives and resources towards restoring peace to many countries in Africa no longer go without commensurate national benefit. It marked a paradigm shift in Nigeria’s foreign policy. However, focusing on Nigeria’s domestic priorities did not mean abandonment of African issues. It is on this commitment that the regime and through its leadership in ECOWAS effectively managed the ouster of Laurent Gbagbo of Cote D’Ivoire when he refused to hand over power, after the 2010 Presidential elections in that country. Similar crisis of selfperpetuation in office in Niger was also condemned by the Jonathan’s administration. A Critique of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy Thrust under President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration.
After President Goodluck completed the tenure of former President Umaru Musa Yar-Adua, he (Jonathan) then contested and won the April 2011 presidential election with massive support and expectations among many Nigerians. The president development emphasis was anchored on transformation programme which according to him was to totally transform every decaying sector in Nigeria. It was also the time Nigeria was witnessing high level of insecurity occasioned by the activities of Boko – Haram in the North East, corruption and youth’s restiveness among other problems. All these factors contributed negatively to the global perception of Nigeria and Nigerians. In order to address these problems, President Goodluck Jonathan’s foreign policy direction focused on investment and economic co-operation within the global community. This according to Obuoforibo was made now during the May 29 inaugural and acceptance speech of the President thus: Nigeria’s new foreign policy direction is now on investment and economic co-operation which thus ties Foreign Policy to the country’s domestic agenda, a radical departure from the old one which has Africa as the centre piece. The new foreign policy lay more emphasis on investment rather than political drive as it is the only avenue to deliver the dividends of democracy to the electorate. The new posture of government is that – while we retain the leadership role in our sub-region, and while we play our leadership role on the continent by taking the lead in all major issues on the continent, the Foreign Policy direction will also be used to propel the economic and industrial development of our country.
To back his words with actions the president gave new directives to the nation’s various diplomatic missions to consider themselves as the operators of the foreign policy in practical terms. They were urged to look for opportunities, ventures, programmes that they could bring to Nigeria to give the new focus a success. The hallmark of Jonathan’s foreign policy based to his 2011 inaugural address was to priorities domestic concerns as he clearly stated that, the present administration’s foreign policy of externalising domestic priorities. The concern therefore is that even within the sub-region there should be a new thinking on sub-regional integration based on inputs from the people as against past efforts which was the exclusive handwork as well as aspiration of the past leaders.
Indeed, to the best of his abilities, Goodluck Jonathan renewed diplomatic and bilateral relationship with many countries. He also addressed international gathering to help Nigeria in fighting Bokom Haram terrorist activities and corruption. He also urged Europe and Asian giants to invest in Nigeria’s private sector especially in the key areas of energy, downstream sector and agriculture. According to Ajaebili President Jonathan stress that, “Therefore, there is urgent need for a holistic effort by the government, corporate bodies and individuals to stamp out the evils of insecurity, crime and corruption so that the country is relatively safe for both Nigerians and foreigners” .
Internationally, the pervasive corruption in Nigeria had tarnished the image of the country and has resulted in foreign nationals exercising extreme caution in entering into business transactions with Nigerians, thereby weakening the economic sector . President Goodluck did not actually succeeded in implementing foreign policy as evidenced from USA government refusing to sell weapons to Nigeria, and the South Africa government also sizing Nigeria money meant to purchase weapons to fight Boko Haram among other diplomatic skirmishes globally. Similarly, many Nigerians were executed in countries like Indonesia, Philippines, Australia and unprovoked attacks on Nigerian national and massive deportation of Nigerians across the globe.
Nigeria. In general, The Jonathan’s administration, like many other administrations in Nigeria has never lacked in good policies. The problem of Nigeria’s foreign policy that is affecting the country’s image is not in formulation, but in implementation as noted by Nwankwo . It therefore means, Nigerian Foreign Policy under Jonathans’ administration failed to have meaningful impact on the global community.
This study is anchored on the System theory and Pluralist interdependence model.
Obi asserted that the system theory came into being in the 1950's . Its underlying assumption is that there is order in our system in international relations. It sees nations as being in constant contact in an intricate framework of relationships resulting from the process of interaction. According to this theory, every nation is involved in some degree of participation in the international environment. A nation's behaviour according to the theory is a two-way activity of taking from and giving to the international environment. It is this process of exchange that the theory referred to as the international system.
The systemic approach views the international system as a result of diverse actions. International relationships are conceived as the consequences of vast number of particular purposes, intentions, expectations and efforts. According to the theory, since the international system is the result of inter-actions, it is closely connected with the idea of transformation in some form or the other. This is because the interaction of state behaviour is always subject to change under the impact of new factors
According to Chandra in Obi there are three major usages followed in this approach . The first is concerned with description, the second with explanation and the third with analysis of international society. According to Obi, James Rosenau represents the first usage and according to him, a system is considered to exist in an environment and to be composed of parts which through interaction are in relations to each other . While those who use the term in this sense are interested only in describing the pattern of action among international actors, those who use it as explanation differ from them. Thus system as explanation is different from system as description.
For those who use the term as explanation, the world is divided into a number of national entities possessed of sovereignty but also stress the casual importance of the existence of sovereignty itself. Kenneth Boulding and Charles McClelland are popular exponents of this school. The third usage of the concept is as a tool of analysis and the focus is on arrangement of actors, interaction of actors or recurring patterns of individual behaviour.
Morton Kaplans is one of the most recognised of the systemic school. According to him, there is some coherence, regularity and order in international politics . He asserts that international politics implies two things: international system and nation state system. While nation states are the main actors in international politics, the role changes with the change of international system. In summation, the system theory sees nations as constantly interacting in other to give and get in return from other nations. The theory asserts that in other for this to happen nations must engage in some degree of participation in the international environment.
From the forgoing discussion, it can be concluded that the entire world is a system and the distortion of one part can affect other parts either positively or negatively. It also stresses the already known fact which is no nation can stand as an island and therefore require interaction or relationship with other nations in other for it to meet or accomplish its domestic interest through its foreign policy. This interaction or relationship is usually symbiotic and mutual and therefore enables both sides to gain from each other.
The study evolved the survey method as a design utilising the questionnaire as an instrument for data collection.
Population of the study
The sample population of this study is therefore drawn from residents of Benue State. According to the 2011 population projection by the national population projection, the population of Makurdi is Three Hundred and Forty Eight Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety (348,990). Even though the study covers the entire Nigeria, Benue state precisely Makurdi the capital city was chosen as the population of the study because Nigeria as a whole is too broad for the researchers hence time and financial constraint. While Makurdi which is the state capital with many socio cultural and economic differences as well as with higher institutions of learning, the population is more suitable to respond as compared to other Local Government Areas in Benue State.
Sample size determination
In order to effectively determine the sampling representative of the entire population of Makurdi metropolis, the sample size is thus calculated using Taro Yamene’s formula cited in Nnayelogu as follows:
n= known population
N=Total population of the scope
e= expected error image (0.05)2
Sampling technique and procedure
Sampling is the procedure of selecting from a population with the aim of ensuring that the portion of the population selected is a representative of the population. There are two main types of sampling methods-probability and non-probability. Furthermore, the population is too large to sample all the respondents thus the selection of the sample for the study involved a two stage sampling technique. In first stage, a purposive selection of the respondents was made i.e. civil servants, politicians, applicants and students respectively.
In the last stage, a sample frame is developed for each of the four groups. Random selection of respondents from each of the group was made, giving a total number of Three hundred and forty eight thousand, nine hundred and ninety (348,990) respondents in the study area. The sampling plan is presented thus in Table 1.
Source: Field survey 2015.
Table 1: Sample Size Selection.
To assign the sample size of 399 to the sample groups, the researchers employed the Bourley’s proportional allocation formula:
nb = Bourley formula
n = Element within the sample frame, i.e. number allocated to respondent groups
n = Sample or proportion of the universe used for the study (total sample size)
N = Population of the study
The determination of each of the sample group is shown in Table 2 below.
|Répondants||Population Frequency||Sample size distribution usingBourley’s technique|
|Over all Total||348990||399|
Source: Field survey 2015.
Table 2: Sampling Distribution using Bourleyâ€™s Proportional Allocation Technique.
Research instrument and administration
The instrument used for data collection is questionnaire. Direct face-to face contact was employed in administering the questionnaire. The approach was chosen to reduce instances of non-return of questionnaire. The researches too advantage of the personal contact to explain the objectives and importance of the study.
Method of data collection
The researchers used the questionnaire to collect primary data for the study and for the secondary data; books, journals and internet materials were used. Questionnaire was chosen because of its advantage in gathering information directly from the sample population. It is cost effective and proved to be useful in sounding opinions of respondents.
Method of data analysis
The data for the study was collected, coded and analysed using computer-based Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 21 for Microsoft Windows). The statistical method was used in analyzing the relationship stated in the objectives 2 and 3. Descriptive statistics was used to determine the characteristics of the respondents’ bio-data (demographics); it was used to examine the impact of Nigeria Foreign Policy on Nigeria's Global Image. Spearman’s Rank Order Correlation was used to determine if there is a relationship between Nigeria Foreign Policy and Nigeria's Global Image variables of hypotheses 1 and 2. This investigates the presence or absence of association between variables of interest.
The data obtained through the questionnaire has been presented below using simple frequency and percentages. 305 questionnaires were returned and properly filled and 84 questionnaire were either not returned or invalid. The presentation is made below in Table 3.
|Do you think Nigeria's foreign policy agrees with her national interest?||22||142||75||66|
|Do public relations play a significant role in boosting Nigeria's image globally?||106||177||6||16|
|Did Goodluck Jonathan's administration improve the global image of Nigeria?||23||63||95||124|
|Did Goodluck Jonathan's transformation agenda yield any benefit to citizens of Nigeria?||45||110||70||80S|
|Did Goodluck Jonathan's administration foreign policies align with the national interest Nigeria?||20||104||90||91|
Source: Field Survey 2015.
Table 3: Analysis of the Responses to Nigeria's foreign policy and Goodluck Jonathan's administration.
Table 3 above shows the analysis of Nigeria foreign policy and Goodluck Jonathan's administration. The results revealed that 22 respondents, representing 7.2% of the population strongly agree that Nigeria's foreign policy agrees with her national interest and 142 respondents, representing 46.6% have agreed that Nigeria's foreign policy agrees with her national interest while 75 respondents representing 21.4% strongly disagree with the view and 66 respondents disagree with the view that Nigeria's foreign policy agrees with her national interest.
The Table 3 equally reveals that 106 respondents representing 34.75% of the population strongly agree that public relations play a significant role in boosting Nigeria's image globally. Another 177 respondents representing 58.03% indicates they have agreed with the view that public relations play a significant role in boosting Nigeria's image globally.
The Table 3 also reveals that 110 respondents representing 36.1% of the population agree that Goodluck Jonathan's transformation agenda yielded benefits to the citizens of Nigeria while 70 and 80 respondents respectively strongly disagree and disagree that Goodluck Jonathan's transformation agenda yielded benefits to the citizens of Nigeria.
The Table 3 also indicates that 23 respondents, representing 7.5% of the population strongly agrees that Goodluck Jonathan's administration improved the global image of Nigeria, 63 respondents representing 20.6% agree that Goodluck Jonathan's administration improved the global image of Nigeria, 95 respondents representing 31.1% strongly disagree that Goodluck Jonathan's administration improved the global image of Nigeria while 124 respondents representing 40.6% disagree that Goodluck Jonathan's administration improved the global image of Nigeria.
Finally the Table 3 reveals that 104 respondents representing 34.1% of the population agrees that the foreign policies formulated and embarked on by the Goodluck Jonathan's administration aligns to the national interest of Nigeria while 90 and 91 respondents representing 29.5% and 29.8% of the population respectively strongly disagree and disagree that the foreign policies formulated and embarked upon by the Goodluck Jonathan's administration aligns to the national interest of the country.
Table 4 above shows the analysis of Nigeria foreign policy and its impact on Nigeria's global Image. The Table 4 reveals that 130 respondents constituting 42.6% of the population think the image of Nigeria generally is negative globally while high respondents of 100 constituting of the population 32.7% think the image of Nigeria generally is good globally.
|Whatis the state of Nigeria's Image Abroad||130||50||100||25|
|Did Nigeria's Foreign Policy under Goodluck Jonathan's Administration.Have any implication on Nigeria's global image||120||70||100||15|
|What impact did the foreign policies of Goodluck Jonathan have on the global image of Nigeria||130||60||110||5|
|What is the effect of Nigeria's foreign policy On her global image in the international Community||120||70||90||25|
|What is your perception of Goodluck Jonathan's Administration foreign policy initiative||110||75||80||40|
Source: Field Study 2015.
Table 4: Analysis of the Responses to the Impact of Nigeria foreign policy on Nigeriaâ€™s global image.
The results revealed that 120 respondents representing 34.3% of the population thinks that Nigeria's Foreign Policy under Goodluck Jonathan's administration has a bad implication on Nigeria's global image and 15 respondents, representing 4.3% of the population thinks that Goodluck Jonathan administration foreign policy has a very Good implication on Nigeria's global image.
The Table 4 equally reveals that 130 respondents constituting 42.6% of the population thinks Nigeria's Foreign Policy under Goodluck Jonathan's administration has a bad impact on the global image of Nigeria and 5 respondents constituting 1.6% of the population thinks Nigeria's Foreign Policy under Goodluck Jonathan's administration has a very good impact on the global image of Nigeria.
The Table 4 equally reveals that 120 respondents constituting 34.3% thinks that the effect of Nigeria's Foreign policy on the global image of Nigeria in the international community is bad 25 while respondents constituting 8.2% of the population thinks that the effect of Foreign policy on the global image of Nigeria in the international community is very good.
Finally the Table 4 reveals that 110 respondents constituting 31.4% of the population states that their perception of Goodluck Jonathan foreign policy initiative is bad while 40 respondents constituting 13.1% of the population states that their perception of Goodluck Jonathan foreign policy initiative is very good.
Test of hypotheses
Tables 5 and 6 below indicate negative relationship among Nigeria Foreign Policy and Nigeria's Global Image factors. The result revealed that there is a high negative correlation between Nigeria Foreign Policy and Nigeria's Global Image factors. Most of the associated t-values attached to the coefficients in the Table 6 below shows that the null hypothesis is accepted. Thus, the alternative hypothesis is rejected, which states that, “Goodluck Jonathan Administration's Foreign Policy plays a significant role in boosting Nigeria's image”
|Nigeria Foreign Policy variables||Nigeria's Global Image Variables Implementation||Build good image for the nation||the need to interrelate and interact||Adequate social services|
|Improved cooperation with other military forces all over the world to bring about peace globally||0.409 (3.830) **||0.228 (4.398)**||0.231 (4.019)**||0.281(4.521)**|
|Improved bilateral and multilateral trade||0.256 (4.921)**||0.124(6.032)**||0.108(2.211)*||0.215(3.056)**|
|Cooperation and assistance I n curbing health challenges all over the world||0.191 (5.092)**||0.137(4.752)**||0.054(0.842)||0.095(4.183)*|
|Promoting the welfare of Nigerian's abroad to ensure they are treated with respect and dignity at all circumstances||0.261(3.744)**||0.134 (3.420)*||0.220(5.240)**||0.172(3.023)**|
|public relations in boosting Nigeria's image globally||0.156 (3.401)*||0.128 (6.231)*||0.141(6.304)*||0.167(3.694)*|
|An instrument for address the challenges within domestic problem||0.045 (1.303)||0.058 (1.394)**||0.116(3.659)**||0.066(0.294)|
|Agrees with national interest||0.688 (3.200)**||0.621(3.573)**||0.610(4.048)**||0.728(3.942)**|
|Formulating, maintaining and sustaining a nation's good image||0.131**||0.056**||2.080**||0.021**|
Note: ** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (p<0.01;2-tail test), * Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (p<0.05; 2-tail test), values in parentheses are t-values
Source: SPSS Version 21 for authorâ€™s computation 2015.
Table 5: Spearman’s Correlation between Goodluck Jonathan administration's foreign policy and Nigeria's global image factors (n=305).
|Goodluck Jonathan's administration's foreign policy||Boosting Nigeria's Image|
|No Improvement in cooperation with other military forces all over the world to bring about peace globally||0.156 (4.420) **|
|No improvement inÂ bilateral and multilateral trade||0.245 (2.011)*|
|Cooperation and assistance in curbing health challenges all over the world||0.562 (5.410)**|
|public relations inÂ boosting Nigeria's image globally||0.108 (2.314)*|
Note: **Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (p<0.01;2-tail test), *Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (p<0.05; 2-tail test), values in parentheses are t-values
Source: SPSS Version 21 for authors computation 2015.
Table 6: Spearman’s Correlation between Goodluck Jonathan's administration's foreign policy and boosting Nigeria's image variables (N=305).
The findings, shows that more than external challenges, it is the internal challenges that are dampening Nigeria's attainment of positive international image and national transformation. Some of these challenges include leadership crisis, corruption, insurgency, irregular power supply, low quality public service delivery and rating of the nation's educational institutions amongst others.
Also, the study asserts that foreign policy constitutes a force for positive international image, a force for positive change, which should be maximally harnessed for national development and transformation emphasizing that a robust foreign policy position invariably promotes international respectability among the comity of nations and positively affects a country's national transformation agenda hence Federal Ministry of Information stresses that a nation’s attempt to have a meaningful impact and influence on the world around it will be guided by her foreign policy objectives and national interests and how effectively such disposition is transmitted or communicated to the world. In other words, foreign policy objectives and national interests must be clinically packaged and projected to achieve their aims.
About 177 respondents representing 58.03% indicate that they agree with the view that public relations play a significant role in boosting Nigeria's image globally which according to Table 4 is negative hence a majority of the populating 130 and 50 representing 42.6% and 32.7 %of the population respectively thinks the image of Nigeria is negative globally. Image building is one of the most essential responsibilities of public relations practitioners. This invariably means that public relations is concerned with how and what others thing about you either as a person or an organisation. These images or views are either favourable or unfavourable. Hence, the effort of public relations is to change negative image to positive image. At the international level, public relations can be used by a nation to create and sustain favourable image.
As a guide to the study, three research questions and objectives were established for the study. Samples of 399 respondents were purposively and carefully selected. Extensive review of past related and relevant literature and empirical studies were done as well as theories that constituted the basis of framework for the study was carefully examined.
This study shows that the foreign policy made by Goodluck Jonathan's administration has no significant relationship with the global image of Nigeria. This is clearly showed in the testing of the hypothesis which was done in the study.
The findings of the study also revealed that the implication of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy under Goodluck Jonathan's administration on Nigeria's global image is negative as clearly stated in Table 4 with 120 respondents representing 39.3% of the population stating that the implication of Nigeria's Foreign Policy under Goodluck Jonathan's administration on Nigeria's global image is negative. The study also shows that good foreign policy initiative is needed to ensure a robust and good international image which invariably leads to national development. It therefore reveals that in other for the image of a country to be effectively boosted public relations has a significant role to play.
In addition, the study reveals the importance of Public relations in a nation which is to establish, maintain and sustain a favorable image for that country. This is clearly revealed in Table 3 with 177 respondents representing 58.03% indicating that they agree with the view that public relations play a significant role in boosting Nigeria's image globally.
The study also revealed that a total 219 respondents representing 71.8% of the population are of the view that the administration of Goodluck Jonathan did not improve the global image of Nigeria. This is clearly revealed in Table 3.
Furthermore, the study reveals that foreign policies made and focused on by Goodluck Jonathan aligns with the national interest of the country Nigeria with 104 respondents representing 34.1% agreeing to the view that Goodluck Jonathan's foreign policy aligns with the national interest of Nigeria.
The result obtained from respondents concerning this study supported the null hypothesis that Nigeria's Foreign Policy under Goodluck Jonathan's administration has no significant role in boosting the global image of Nigeria. However some but few respondents differ in their opinion emphasizing that Goodluck Jonathan's administration foreign policy plays a significant role in boosting the global image of Nigeria.
Therefore we conclude that the foreign policies establish and focused on by the Goodluck Jonathan's administration had a negative impact and implication on the global image of Nigeria as clearly stated in Table 4. The aspect of the finding that is perhaps surprising to the researchers is that high number of the sample population think the image of Nigeria globally is negative and an almost equally the same number think the image of Nigeria globally is good. It is therefore apt to say that since the majority of the population agreed that the image of Nigeria globally is negative; public relations should be effectively integrated and should be involved in the formulation of policies as they concern the international community.
Based on the findings from primary and secondary data collected, the following recommendations have been made: A major reorganization of the Foreign Service such that positions of the Ambassadors and other key positions will no longer be politicized. Only career diplomats and practitioners who understand the nuances of international relations and global politics should be appointed into those sensitive positions and offices. The present administration should holistically address the economic challenges confronting the nation. The economy needs to be attuned to the realities of globalizations, as such, the economic diplomacy of the present administration need to be directed towards addressing contemporary challenges in the society. The place of Nigerians in the Diaspora towards nation building in the new world order should be recognized, encourages and emphasized. This is because they have a prominent role in advancing the foreign policy of the country, as such, they ought to be given adequate diplomatic attention. The federal government must ensure that recruitment into the ministry of Foreign Affairs should hence forth be based on merit alone. Special trainings in international relations at the Masters level and in other related areas should be encouraged as this will further equip and arm the officers with all they need to properly discharge their duties. Effective public relations practitioners should be integrated into government especially in the case of international relations in order to effectively boost the image of the country abroad. There is the need for a strong strategic plan and long term projection of the nation’s foreign policy posture with a view to fashioning out a roadmap for Nigeria’s diplomacy. Nigeria’s foreign policy in contemporary context must be premised solely on national interest with emphasis on national security and welfare, regional and global peace, as well as robust multilateral diplomacy that is tailored along strong strategic partnership with friendly states in the global arena.
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals