Impact of Ethnic Militancy and Internal Terrorism on Nigeria’s National Security, 1999 to 2012



1.1              Background to the Study

In a time of terror, in the face of terrorism, the Nigerian state articulates itself as a domain of security for the populace. The presidency, lawmakers and security agencies openly condemns terrorist attacks as illegitimate action used by non-state actors. Accordingly, the Nigerian government, through the National Assembly (NASS) embarked on a legislative pathway to criminalise terrorism via the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act in 2002. However, the inchoate nature of counterterrorism provisions in the Act led to the exploration of a more comprehensive legal framework, and in turn to the presentation of the Prevention of Terrorism Bill to the Senate in 2006 (Isaac, 2011: 42). Five years later, the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011, was passed by the Senate and the House on June, 1, 2011 and on June 2, 2011, it was forwarded by the Clerk of the National Assembly to President Goodluck Jonathan who signed it to law on June 3, 2011 (The Punch Newspaper, November 22, 2012).

Since 2009, internal terrorism in Nigeria moved from ethnic militancy to suicide bombing, a situation that has claimed over 3,000 lives, led to the declaration of state of emergency in five northern states, and the sack of the Defence  Minister,  Police  Chief  and  National  Security  Adviser (Olalekan, 2012: 1). The erstwhile unpopular national phenomenon  of  suicide  bombing  have  suddenly  become  dominant  in  the country,  with  several  attacks  on  the  elected  political  leaders  and  traditional rulers  in  the  North – Eastern region of Nigeria; the nation’s capital, Abuja; the  commercial  city  of  Kano  in  North-western  axis  and  formerly  serene Plateau State in North – Central region (Tony and Kolade, 2012: 1)..

The nature of internal terrorism in Nigeria assumed international outlook, with the bombing of the UN Building at Abuja on Friday, 26 August 2011 which killed at least 21 and wounded 60 people. The international community grieved as  suicide  bombing  rocked  the  St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger  State,  on  Christmas  Day  killing  innocent  worshippers (Olalekan, 2012: 23). These are aside from the spate of bombings of several other churches, public  infrastructures  and  civilian  gatherings  in  Kano,  Kaduna,  Okene,  and other local government councils in the northern parts of the country.

According  to  the  United  States Department’s Global Report on Terrorism, Nigeria ranked 2nd with 593 deaths in 2011 from terrorist killings on the African continent, second to only the failed state of Somalia. On the global level, Nigeria was placed 5th  in the  ranking  of  casualties (Country Report on Terrorism, 2010).

Nigeria  is  not  a  stranger  to  terrorism,  having  experienced  the activities  of  the  extremist  Maitatsine  sect  movement  that  became  violent  in the early 1980s during the regime of the first democratically-elected civilian government  of  Alhaji  Shehu  Shagari.  The  Yan  Tatsine  (followers  of Maitatsine)  was  actually  a  quasi-Muslim  fringe  group  that  preached  Islamic doctrines  that  were  contrary  to  the  teachings  of  the  orthodox  Islamic  and societal  leadership.  Muhammadu  Marwa  Maitatsine,  the  leader  of  the  sect, was  a  Muslim  scholar  from  Marwa  town  in  Northern  Cameroun  who migrated to Kano in Nigeria (Danjibo, 2000: 3). The ideology of the Maitatsine sect  was  appealing  to  the  poverty  –  stricken  youths  who  sought  an opportunity  to  confront  the  conservative  traditional  Islamic  rulership  and State  governments.  The  directive  by  the  federal  government  to  the  Police Force  to  crush  the  movement,  which  had  large  followership  of  the unemployed  youths,  led  to  clashes  with  the  police  in  Kano.

Encouraged by the ‘defeat’ of the police,  the sect marched in Kano city chanting “Yau zamu sha jinni”, meaning “today we shall drink blood” in Hausa. By December 19, 1980 the sect took over strategic places in Kano city including the Fagge mosque, some schools, a cinema house and the Sabon Gari market. For eleven days, the police was unable to bring to control the sectarian riots. When the situation was getting out of control, ex-President Shehu Shagari had to invite the Nigeria Army to intervene. It took the army two days to dislodge the sect while their leader was killed in the operation. More than 1,000 members of the sect  were arrested and detained in prison where they received agonizing treatment from the police. The crisis lasted for 11 days, claimed the lives of more than 4,179 people and hundreds of houses and shops were either torched or destroyed (Danjibo, 2000). This  religious  crisis,  which  later  took  a denominational  dimension  in  Zaria  with  the  Muslims  directing  their  attacks on Christians and their property, later spread to Maiduguri, Yola, Bauchi and Gombe,  in  the  north-eastern  parts  of  Nigeria.  The  leader  of  the  sect  was killed in the uprising.

Thus, national security becomes the language in and through which terrorism is mediated as a threat which invariably make the state to create and implement national security policies. It is not only international or global terrorism that threatens Nigeria’s security, internal terrorism is equally perceived to threaten directly  the national security of Nigeria. In other words, the threat requires the Nigerian government to protect the  citizens but also to defend the constitution and  its  national interests, including its interests and allies abroad.

Seen as the  systematic  use  of  violence,  or  the  threat  of  violence,  against governments  or  individuals  to  attain  a  socio-political  objective, terrorism has been practised throughout history and throughout the world.  Terrorism  is  a  long-standing  political  and  religious  strategy  that  has  gained  renewed international  awareness  following  the  devastating  and  unprecedented  attacks  in  the United States (US) on the 11th September 2001 (9/11). Although the events of that day have come to represent a turning point in international concern with the issue, the 9/11 attacks were not isolated events. Nor did these events reflect an unexpected new threat; they  were  the  representative  reaffirmation  of  a  tendency  that  had  been  apparent for several  years.  Where  terror  had  previously  been  a  painful  accessory  to  anarchism, liberation wars, counter-insurgency campaigns and the battlefields of the Cold War; the events of that day took terrorism to a new, global level.

Historically, no terrorist group has ever emerged in a vacuum; there are dynamic  contexts—political,  social,  economic,  temporal,  spatial,  even religious—that must be taken into account. Thus, a considerable amount of emphasis is placed on identifying the array of environmental conditions and grievances among members of the local population that facilitated opportunities for internal terrorism in Nigeria to muster support and orchestrate acts of political violence. The government of Nigeria has struggled to deal effectively with these grievances and sources of tension throughout the country, and there is a pervasive belief particularly among northern Nigerians that the government continually fails to address critical needs of those who aspire for a better future. While resources are surely constrained, it is the inequitable distribution of those resources, and the widely acknowledged levels of corruption among elites, that detract from the government’s effectiveness. In turn, patronage and corruption fuels a general perception that government officials (to include law enforcement) cannot be

trusted, and this further undermines the government’s ability to influence the behavior of local community members in positive directions, away from the lure of radical extremist ideologies like that of Boko Haram.

1.2       Statement of the Problem               

Internal or domestic terrorism has a long history in Nigeria. Both the southern and northern parts of the country have experienced acts of terrorism.  Some of the groups that posed the greatest challenge to Nigeria’s security between 1999 and 2012 include Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Bakassi Boys, Boko Haram, among others.  These groups adopted various strategies which included arson,  kidnapping,  extra-judicial  killings,  looting,  unlawful  detention, disappearances, and at worst, suicide bombing. While some of these groups receive considerable support from the local people, the fact is that their tactics sometimes constitute terrorism and pose a special challenge to Nigerian military.

Since  the  return  to  civil  rule  in  1999,  Nigeria  has  been  battling  with  series  of  violent agitations from various geo-political zones in the country. These violent agitations which have taken  terror  dimensions  have  contributed  to  national  security  threat  that  is  capable  of disintegrating  the  country.  Terrorists’  attacks  have  resulted  in  the  killings  of  hundreds  of people and wanton destruction of property that worth billions of naira through bombings.

The strategic implication of these terrorist acts on Nigeria’s national security is the major thrust of this thesis. While literature abound on the terms ‘terrorism’, ‘national security’, more research is needed to unravel the connection between terrorism and national security in Nigeria. Outright confrontation with police and military officers,  violent attacks on the populace,  pipeline  vandalisation,  bombing  of  oil  installation,  armed  resistance against the agents of the Nigerian state and the transnational oil companies operating in the region, kidnapping and hostage taking have serious strategic implication for Nigeria in the international community. Since the activities of these terrorist groups especially since 1999 have not only constituted a major security threat to  the nation, but has also make the country one of the most dangerous place to live in the world. The activities of this sect are capable of disintegrating the country. Thus, the need to find lasting solution to the grievance of these groups is very paramount

This thesis  hopes  to  shed  light  on  why  internal terrorism arose as well as its implication for Nigeria in the 21st century.  Further,  this  thesis  will  look  at  the  effects  of  their  coming  into  being  on democratic  consolidation.  It  is  hoped   that  this  thesis  will  contribute  to  the  future  work  on resolving  Nigerian  conflict  by  putting  forth  a  new  perspective  based  on  using  a  holistic perspective

1.2              Research Questions                                     

By explaining how   the militias as well as terrorist groups came  into being,  and by showing that they posed serious threat to national security, the central research questions are:

  1. How did ethnic militias and terrorist groups emerge?
  2. What is the nature of their operations?
  3. Have they had any significant impact on Nigerians?
  4. Have their patterns of attacks affected the Nigerian political economy?
  5. Have they become a major threat to the security forces?
  6. Have their activities led to internalization of terrorism in Nigeria?
  7. Could their dangerous activities undermine Nigeria’s national security?

1.4       Purpose of the Study                       

In  order  to  formulate  viable  long  term  solutions  to  combat  terrorism in  Nigeria,  it  is  necessary  to  investigate  the  root  causes  of  internal terrorism in the country.  Investigating  the  political,  economic,  social  and  environmental  causes  of

internal terrorism  will  be  the  primary  objective  of  this  study.  Also,  the correlation  between  internal terrorism and national security will be investigated.

Hence,  a  specific  objective  will  be  to  illuminate  and  explore  the  concept  of  internal terrorists and to look into how they influence the Nigerian society.

Also the study will investigate the physical manifestations of terrorist acts from 1999 to 2012. Establishing  the  modus  operandi  of  terrorist groups  will  enable  relevant  actors  to  establish  viable short term solutions to combat internal terrorism.

Lastly, the likelihood of terrorism spreading to other parts of Africa will be investigated.

1.5       Scope of the Study 

The study examines internal security and its strategic implication for national security in Nigeria. The research begins from 1999, a year which is significant in Nigerian history as it ushered in the Fourth Republic under the democratically elected government of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The research terminates in 2012 as much of the terrorist activities up to date featured between 2009 and 2012. To this, the research analyse  the  concept  of  internal  terrorism and national security. The  analysis  will  explore  why  internal  terrorism occurs in Nigeria, and the factors which facilitate this. Hence, the study will focus  on  aspects  such  as  the  historical  background  of  internal terrorism in Nigeria; the Nigerian security environment;  and  the counter-terrorist  policies  which  the Nigerian government pursued to maintain national security from 1999 to 2012.

1.6       Limitations of the Study

In producing such a work like this, the problem confronting the researcher is not the scarcity of materials but its availability some of which are bias in their presentation. Moreso, this research work is contemporary and politically sensitive.  The researcher therefore is confronted with the problem of interpretation of the actions of terrorist groups as well as counter-terrorist approach of the Nigerian government as some of the policies initiated are still an on-ongoing process.

            Finally, there is the question of time and fund which may serve as impediments to this research.  Nevertheless, these limitating factors will greatly be managed to make the research work more objective in its presentation.

1.7       Significance of the Study               

The problem of internal terrorism and its implication for national security in Nigeria is central to this research. It analyses the implication of internal terrorism for Nigeria in the international community. It is on this basis that this study is important for certain reasons.

First, the study is of paramount importance to decision makers and the citizens for it traces the historical development of internal terrorism in Nigeria, emphasizing how corruption, ethno-politics, resource control, bad governance, poverty, coups and counter coups, etc have all added to the rise of internal terrorism in Nigeria.

Second, the importance of Nigeria as a global source of energy inevitably has resulted in a significant international presence in the country; in particular the USA, China and Britain who depend on Nigeria for a large part of their oil imports have a significant political and economic presence. It is no coincidence that these countries in particular have been pivotal  to  the  counterterrorism  policies  of  Nigeria  and  in  training  their  military  for specific counterterrorism functions. Thus the international involvement of stakeholders in  internal terrorism in  Nigeria becomes critical to this study as it raised  more  questions  about  who  counter-terrorism policies  are  enacted  for,  for  what  purpose. In essence, the research will provoke further questions on internal terrorism in Nigeria.

Third, this research work will help in providing information on the internal factors that affects counter-terrorism in Nigeria, and what it holds for other countries undergoing the challenges of internal terrorism. With successful amnesties and dialogue having taken place in the Niger Delta with the Movement for the Emancipation  of  the  Niger  Delta  (MEND) and the recent ceasefire announcement of the Boko Haram terrorist group, it means that internal terrorism could be won by the government through peaceful dialogue.

Fourth, it is useful to scholars’ especially diplomatic historians, political scientists, economists and international relations experts who are conducting research in related fields.

Finally, the political and military class will learn, through this study, the need for them to be patriotic.

1.8       Research Methodology

Historical research method was used in carrying out this study. A critical examination of the dramatic evolution of ethnic militant groups to the rise of a more violent Boko Haram, was analyzed using findings from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources include written documents such as government publications, letters, correspondence, documentaries and newspapers. Moreover, this study depended on secondary sources such as books, journals, conference proceedings and internet sources which are to be explored to enrich this work.

Furthermore, this research work depended largely on archival materials to gather relevant materials on the study. Field trips will also be employed to access information from the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs and other centres in order to get relevant information regarding the research work.

This was complemented using other research instruments. The research instruments used were questionnaires and purposive sampling. The data gathered through the questionnaire were analysed using the frequency of responses and percentages while the outcome from data were presented in form of tables. Each table was analysed using descriptive analytical method. Interpretations and useful inferences were drawn from the analysis which formed the basis of conclusion and recommendations.

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Nigeria-United States Relations, 1999 to 2012

1.1       Background to the Study

The history of Nigeria’s foreign policy towards United States since 1960 has constantly been changing, though the principles guiding her foreign relations remain the same. Strategic events are largely responsible for the unstable external relationship between the two countries (Adebajo and Mustapha, 2008: 22). Since Nigeria’s foreign policy is deeply rooted in Africa with emphasis on political and economic cooperation, peaceful dispute resolution, and global nonalignment, Nigerian leaders also have their attention fixed on the successful implementation of these principles which sometimes come in conflict with the US foreign goals.

Historically, Nigeria at independence began to conduct her foreign relations under the political and governmental leadership of its Prime Minister, the late Alhaji (Sir) Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. His administration emphasized Africa to be centre-piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy. His own foreign relations was pro-West particular with Britain, Nigeria’s erstwhile colonial master. With the bloody military coup of January, 15, 1966, the late Major-General J.T. Aguisi Ironsi came to power only to be killed in a counter coup staged six months later. This development brought the retired General Yakubu Gowon to power (Abegunrin, 2001: 12-20).

General Gowon borrowed a leaf from Alhaji Balewa administration by being pro-West in his foreign affairs. He entered into agreement with Britain, the United States and other Europeans countries. However, his administration reluctantly allowed the Soviet Union to open its embassy in Lagos (Ofoegbu, 1979: 135). The General Gowon-led Federal Military Government was sacked in a bloodless coup which led to the assumption of power by the late General Murtala Ramat Mohammed and the retired General (now Chief) Olusegun Obasanjo who was his second in command and Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters.

The assumption of power by these two strongmen served as a catalyst in the history of international relations as far as Nigeria was concerned. Their government injected new innovations and dynamism into the nation’s foreign affairs. Mohammed was prepared to counter the imperial moves of the Western Powers especially the United States who had emerged as a major power broker in Africa particularly in Angola (Robert, 1991: 57). Britain and Portugal also became targets of the new military administration while not leaving Cuba, a surrogate of the Soviet Union both of whom were present in Angola, challenging the United States’ (US) presence there. These Western Powers, Cuba as wells as South Africa became the targets of the Mohammed/Obasanjo military regime in Africa. One basic truth that must be stressed is the fact that this was the age of the Cold War during which the US and the Soviet Union were competing for military supremacy and searching for satellite countries who would support them in their bid to permanently polarize the world into Capitalist and Communist Blocs under the US and Soviet Union respectively (Robert, 1991: 67).

Given the above situation the Muhammed/Obasanjo regime pursued confrontational diplomatic in its resolve to emancipate African countries that were still under the tyranny of colonial masters. The government also had conflict with the US in its bid to eradicate neo-colonialism, racism and apartheid on the African continent particularly colonies in Southern Africa (Davies, 1978: 15).

With all these involvements in international politics, Nigeria became a regional power and centre of influence, particularly in Africa, making her to adopt confrontational foreign policy posture towards the US. This combined with a viable economy until the mid-1980s, Nigeria was a toast of many states seeking either its influence or support on global issues or financial assistance (Ate, 1987: 93).

However, after the June 12, 1993, Nigerian presidential election was annulled, and in light of human rights abuses and the failure to embark on a meaningful democratic transition, the United States imposed numerous sanctions on Nigeria. These sanctions included the imposition of Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to refuse entry into the United States of senior government officials and others who formulated, implemented, or benefited from policies impeding Nigeria’s transition to democracy; suspension of all military assistance; and a ban on the sale and repair of military goods and refinery services to Nigeria. The U.S. Ambassador was recalled for consultations for four months after the execution of the Ogoni Nine on November 10, 1995.

After a period of increasingly strained relations, the death of General Abacha in June 1998 and his replacement by General Abubakar opened a new phase of improved bilateral relations. As the transition to democracy progressed, the removal of visa restrictions, increased high-level visits of U.S. officials, discussions of future assistance, and the granting of a Vital National Interest Certification on counter-narcotics, effective in March 1999, paved the way for re-establishment of closer ties between the United States and Nigeria, as a key partner in the region and the continent (Adebajo and Mustapha, 2008: 80-120).

When the new democratically elected government in Nigeria took power in 1999, the United States (US) pictured a bright future with a strategic country in the African sub-region. They envisioned a strong partnership in political, economic and security realms. Although, the US has consistently labeled their bilateral relationship with Nigeria as ‘excellent’, however, a number of recent events have meant that Washington has been challenged to take a fresh look at its relations with Abuja. Nigeria was in the  forefront  of  African  countries  that  publicly opposed the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 (ThisDay Newspaper, 2003).

The growing influence of Islam in northern Nigeria has also been a cause of concern to some policymakers in Washington, particularly in light of America’s war on terrorism. Diplomatic relations between the two appear threatened over the foiled attempt by a Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet on Christmas Day (December 25, 2009) which led to the inclusion of Nigeria on US terrorism watch list and subsequently, making the Nigerian Senate to give the United States authorities a seven-day ultimatum to remove Nigeria from their watch list (Tell Magazine, 2012). Despite challenges that marred Nigeria-US relationship in 2010, the bilateral relationship continued to improve, and cooperation on many important foreign policy goals, such as economic collaborations and regional peacekeeping has been good.

The Nigerian government has lent strong diplomatic support to the U.S. Government counter-terrorism efforts in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Government of Nigeria, in its official statements, has both condemned the terrorist attacks as well as supported military action against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Between 2007 and 2012, Nigeria has played a leading role in forging an anti-terrorism consensus among states in Sub-Saharan Africa (Tell Magazine, 2012). It is the general aim of this thesis to explore the strategic importance of Nigeria as a crucial ally of the US and the needed synergies between the two nations to ensure regional and international stability.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Bilateral relations between Nigeria and the US from 1999 to 2012 had a dual character: acrimony and friendship. Between 1999 and 2003, their relationship was cordial; between 2003 and 2004 it degenerated into a full scale diplomatic tussle where Nigeria regarded the action of the US government on Iraq invasion as inappropriate; between 2005 and 2009, diplomatic relations was cordial with the increase in economic activities; between 2009 and 2010, their relations was sour as a result of Nigeria’s inclusion on the terror list by the US government; and between 2011 and 2012, their relations became stable and entered a new phase of strategic partnerships in the fight against terrorism.  The steps taken by these two countries to stabilize their relations during these periods call for careful study.

Moreover, since the main focus of the research is centered on Nigeria-U.S relations, perhaps, their relationship is primarily driven by economic motives, which in turn shape other areas of the relationship between the two countries. Nigerian economy  represents hope, not only for West African countries, but also foreign powers such as the US who believes that Nigeria’s leading role in Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and African Command (AFRICOM) would provide the motivation for other African countries.

1.3       Research Questions

i.                        What is the historical background of Nigeria-US relations?

ii.                        How does AGOA influence Nigeria-US economic relations from 1999 to 2012?

iii.                        Does democracy and good governance affect Nigeria’s relation with the United States?

iv.                        What effect does AFRICOM have on Nigeria’s relation with the United States?

v.                        How does internal and global terrorism affect Nigeria-US relations?

  1.4    Purpose of the Study

Against the background of the foregoing, the primary objective of the study is a critical analysis of the relationship between Nigeria and the US from 1999  to 2012. This is further aimed at empirically evaluating whether the US initiative in the name of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) as well as US African Command (AFRICOM) had any impact on the development of Nigeria.  Specifically, the study aims at achieving the following objective:

i.                        Examine the historical background of Nigeria-US relations

ii.                        Investigate the influence of AGOA on Nigeria-US economic relations from 1999 to 2012

iii.                        Examine how democracy and good governance affect Nigeria’s relation with the United States.

iv.                        Discuss the role of US African Command on Nigeria’s relation with the United States

v.                        Analyse how internal and global terrorism affected Nigeria-US relations between 1999 and 2013.

1.5   Scope of the Study

This study covers Nigeria’s foreign relations with the United States of America from 1999 to 2012. The study examines the bilateral relations between the two countries particularly the economic, cultural and political and military relations from 1999 to 2012. Other areas which this study covers include how the interplay of domestic factors shaped the relationship between Nigeria and the United States of America.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is very important for certain reasons. First, it historicizes Nigeria-US bilateral relations, during military regime and under the democratic leadership of Nigeria, thereby shedding more light on the dynamics that characterized their relations.

Second, the study made conscious effort to address the endogeneity issue, and provide justification for the unrelenting efforts of the government to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), through its economic relations with the US.

Third, it is useful to scholars’ especially diplomatic historians, political scientists, economists and international relations experts in their research. Diplomats like ambassadors, high commissioners and staffers of foreign ministries will benefit from the work.

Finally, the policy makers and political class will learn, through this study, the need for them to create enabling business climate and make functional policies that would:

i.            Integrate Nigerian economy into global market through the establishment of a liberal markets economy;

ii.            Promotion and diversification of exports in both traditional  and non-traditional;

iii.            Effective participation in trade negotiation to enhance economic gains in multilateral trading system; as well as regional and bilateral arrangements.

iv.            Enhancement of national security

1.7  Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this research work, the researcher encountered certain limitations. This includes problems in meeting the right person at the right time, shortage of fund and the time allocated for the research work. Considering the limited time the researcher has in going out for research, there will also be constraints in accessing necessary and vital information required. All these and other anticipated problems would in no doubt affect the accuracy of this work and perhaps limit the generalization of the interpretations.

1.8.      Literature Review

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 1.9.      Research methodology

Historical research method was also used in carrying out this study. However, a critical examination of the dramatic relations between Nigeria and US will be analyzed using findings from both primary and secondary sources.

A detailed step in the process of primary data collection is pertinent here. In this research interviews were conducted with officials from the major trade-related agencies in Nigeria that have something to do with AGOA and from some U.S. trade representatives in Nigeria. In addition to these officials, open-ended questionnaires were administered to the officials of those considered experts in the field of foreign policy analysis.  Specifically, for the interview in Nigeria, the officials from the following think tanks, agencies and industries were contacted and interviewed:

–   Nigeria-American Chamber of Commerce

–  Office of the Special Adviser to the President on AGOA

–  The US Embassy in Nigeria

–  Nigerian Institute of International Affairs

The interviewed subjects were adults  between the ages of  21 and 65 and are citizens either of Nigeria or the U.S. All questionnaires were administered to respondents in two forms: through the electronic mail (email) and also at their offices at Lagos and Abuja Nigeria. Where a face-to-face interview was not possible, an open-ended questionnaire  was sent to the respondent by e-mail. Permission to conduct the interviews was obtained both from the supervising officials in each organization and from the selected respondents.

The selection of subjects in this interview was based on their position in the organizations mentioned above. It was considered appropriate to target individuals who are knowledgeable about US policy towards Nigeria. Since the interviews involved individuals from both the public and private sectors—Nigerian and the U.S. government officials/workers, and the private sector stakeholders in Nigeria—there is no suspicion by the researcher that their opinions would be biased. However, we cannot rule out entirely elements of biases as long as human subjects are concerned. This is an acknowledged limitation of social inquiry which is also the case in this study.

Moreover, government publications, letters, correspondence, documentaries and newspapers were largely accessed to analyse the relationship between Nigeria and United States.  The secondary data sources that were consulted comprised of published books, newspapers, journals articles,  government documents and reports, project and policy documents; promotional materials on trade; aid and investments in Nigeria. These sources were libraries and resource centres of institutions and organizations in Nigeria.

The wealth of secondary sources  helped  augment  or support information from the primary sources to enable the research present an informative impression of this ongoing developmental account of Nigeria-United States relations.

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