Reinventing Nigeria’s Diplomatic Machinery: The Challenge of Citizen and Diaspora Diplomacy

Nwozor, Agaptus (2012) Reinventing Nigeria’s Diplomatic Machinery: The Challenge of Citizen and Diaspora Diplomacy. Journal of History and Diplomatic Studies, 9. pp. 83-114. ISSN 1597-3778

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Nigeria’s diplomatic machinery has been very much driven by the officialdom of career and appointed diplomats. Their effectiveness in meeting the country’s foreign policy objectives, especially the welfare and security of the citizenry, is suspect. The ubiquity of Nigerian citizens around the globe, the xenophobic attacks on them and the seeming nonchalance of Nigerian missions abroad have all combined to spawn a new thrust in Nigeria’s foreign policy. Under the auspices of citizen and diaspora diplomacy, the Nigerian state experimented with the policy option of making its citizens the centrepiece of its foreign policy engineering. Since this idea was mooted in 2007 by the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, there does not seem to be any structure on the ground for its logical pursuit, depicting the Achilles heel of Nigeria’s foreign policy-making–lack of continuity and extreme personalisation of its processes. This paper examines the underlying factors that motorised the trajectory towards citizen-centric foreign policy as well as the forces that stymie its efflorescence into an effective tool to cater for Nigerians. The paper contends that the incapacity of the Nigerian missions abroad in terms of crisis of funding manpower challenges, and timely intervention in protecting the interest of Nigerians demand the expansion of the frontiers of diplomatic politicking by harnessing the abundant army of human resources to meet the goals of its foreign policy.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2021 10:39
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2021 10:39

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