Nigeria will seek to become a member of the BRICS group of nations within the next two years as part of a new foreign policy push to have its voice heard in important global organizations.
The West African nation will join every group that is open as long as the intentions are good, well-meaning and clearly defined, Minister of Foreign Affairs Yusuf Tuggar said in an interview. “Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be, being multiple aligned is in our best interest,” Tuggar said.
BRICS is a grouping of the emerging market powers Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. In August they invited six other nations, including top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, to join their ranks in a push to expand the bloc’s influence. The other countries were Iran, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates.
But Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is seeking to assert its leadership role on the continent after years of playing a subordinate in international politics.
“We need to belong to groups like BRICS, like the G-20 and all these other ones because if there’s a certain criteria, say the largest countries in terms of population and economy should belong, then why isn’t Nigeria part of it?,” Tuggar said.
South Africa, the continent’s most industrialized nation, is already a member of the Group of 20 and joined BRICS in 2010, a year after it was formed.
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, who was invited to attend the G-20 summit in India in September, has said he will push to join as a permanent member.
Africa’s dominant producer of crude oil called for the “democratization” of global institutions including the United Nations Security Council, to make it more inclusive. The nation said it will continue to work to curb the trend of coups in the region, while keeping up pressure on its neighbor Niger, where the military recently seized power.
“We’re not going to give up on Niger,” Tuggar said. “We think that this is transient. So definitely they will have to come back on track.”
Source: BNN Bloomberg