1.1.BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
States in actual fact cannot exists in isolation, hence, once a state has been granted the full status of statehood by the colonial authorities it has the legal right to engage in relations both bilaterally and multilaterally on the international scene. With the country‘s independence, such state can now be declared a sovereign state. Nigeria gained its independence from Britain on October 1, 1960 and as such acquired the right to conduct its external relations with the rest of the world. But the reality of Nigeria‘s independence was that it was a poor state and there arose a need to create an avenue for relations with other countries of the world, both in Europe, Asia and North America such as the United States of America. The history of Nigeria and United States of America‘s formal relations is recent, but in consideration of the slave trade period, the relations have been estimated to have started as way back as the 18th century. Nigeria was a major supplier of slaves to the European countries especially Britain, which further traded some of these slaves to the United States. The trade in slaves led to the first informal contact between the two countries.
History has it that the coastal region of modern day Nigeria was referred to as the Slave Coast. Nonetheless formal relations between the two countries started after Nigeria‘s independence in 1960. According to one of the speeches given by the first Prime Minister Lt Alhaji Abubarkar Tafawa Balewa at Nigeria‘s independence, Nigeria needs to acquaint it self with the rest of the world to improve the country‘s overall status. The relations between Nigeria and the United States of America officially started when the President of United States of America, President Eisenhower was represented by Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York at Nigeria’s independence ceremonies on October 1, 1960. That visit marked the beginning of diplomatic relations (Ayam, 2008). The first diplomatic envoy of the United States in Nigeria was on September 23, 1960 and since then relations between the two countries have continued to blossom especially in the economic sphere. Relations between Nigeria and the United States have historically been marked by cooperation, a degree of affinity and setbacks.
In the decades after independence, Nigerian governments defined a pragmatic stance in continental and global affairs. In the 1960s and 1970s, Nigeria maintained cordial diplomatic and economic relations with the United States, while maintaining non- alignment stance during the Cold War. The political relations between the two countries have had some setbacks especially during the Nigeria‘s military era. It is important to note that US is the champion of democracy in the world and has continued to raise its voice against authoritarian rules in the world. The United States had at various times during the years of military dictatorship in Nigeria spoken out against tyranny and oppression and has consistently supported every effort at democratization (Nwokolo, 2011). For example, seven years after the Nigerian independence, the country was thrown into a situation of Civil War. In the process of the War, the Nigerian government sought external assistance. Britain supplied a huge amount of weaponry to the Nigerian government because of its desire to preserve the country it created. United States on the other hand declared neutrality to the war. According to U.S. Secretary Of State Dean Rusk, America was not in a position to take actions as Nigeria is an area under British influence. The Federal Government turned to the Soviet Union for military assistance during this period, as it was abandoned by the West. This lead to a huge strain in their political relations as Nigeria felt betrayed by the United States.
However, economic relations continued to blossom, major American oil firms and other companies were rapidly expanding their activities in the country, and Nigeria saw United States,…
1.2.STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The economic relationship between Nigeria and United States of America has reached new heights in recent times. Extant literature claim that the relationship bodes well for both countries. For example, Robert (1991) claimed that although political relationship during the period of 1975 was bad, economic relations continued to flourish. This economic relations has constituted a mega change in both countries‘ political economy and has opened up new phases in their relations. Ayam (2008) claimed that regardless of the political discord that Nigeria and United States were going through, there were still cordial economic relations. This is because, America‘s high level of development, technology and wealth, remain a source of assistance to Nigeria. In similar vein, the United States has benefited from friendly relations with Nigeria, that is, it has benefitted from its natural resources and its large population. Other scholars like Lewis (2006), Ayam (2008) and Abegunrin (2001) and so on have looked at the nature of the relationship at a particular point of history and they have argued that the relationship is more in favour of United States than Nigeria. Omotere (2013) talked mainly about relationship between Nigeria and United States during Muhamadu/Obasanjo regime. Lewis (2000) analyzed economic relations between these two countries during the Nigerian Military era. The main reason for relations is because states cannot on their own achieve their national interest.
This study will however be examining the economic relations between Nigeria and United States from the 1960 to 2014.
The aim of this project is to assess the economic relations between Nigeria and the United States. The specific objectives of the study are
To identify the major areas of economic relations between the two countries
To assess the nature and pattern of U.S. and Nigeria‘s economic relations
To examine the impact of this relationship on Nigeria‘s economic development
What are the areas of economic relations between US and Nigeria?
What is the nature and pattern of Nigeria- U.S. economic relations?
What is the implication of Nigeria- U.S. economic relations on Nigeria‘s economic development?
Some research hypotheses were viewed in relation to the research topic. These assumptions include:
H1: The nature and pattern of Nigeria‘s relationship with the United States support the assumption that both states operate on an equal basis. This means that their relationship has lead to improvement in both countries since the beginning of their relations.
H0: The nature and pattern of Nigeria‘s relationship with the United States does not support the assumption that both states operate on an equal basis. This means that their relationship has not lead to improvement in both countries since the beginning of their relations.
1.6.SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Bearing in mind the existing relationship between Nigeria and United States of America over the years, this study seeks to enlighten the students and scholars
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