Membership in the multilaterial economic organizations: an evaluation of Nigeria’s participation in ECOWAS (1985 – 2014)
Nigeria belongs to many international organizations like the United Nations (UN), Commonwealth of Nations, Organization of African Unity (OAU) later changed to African Union (AU), United Nations International Children‘s Education Fund (UNICEF), World Bank etc. Nigeria participates in all these organizations as a member country, but the activities of the Nigerian government in ECOWAS shows that Nigeria is bearing most of the burden of keeping the organization alive; in spite of the fact that the ECOWAS treaty provided for equal right, duties and benefits. The study was a documentary research work which involved secondary sources of data. The analyses of the data were carried out using content analysis. The work evaluated the Nigerian commitment to the organization, comparing it with the benefits to Nigeria from the organization and reached a conclusion that the country only gained "prestige" as the 'big brother‘ of African countries which has not produced any food on the table of the common man in Nigeria. Past governments in Nigeria, including the present, have been spending the country‘s resources to keep the organization alive to the detriment of the Nigerian people and her development. However, Nigeria benefited from ECOWAS in the area of trade as its trade liberalization policy helped to increase her volume of trade. As a result of Nigeria‘s military actions in the Sub-region, she commands respect (prestige) and is also referred to as the 'big brother' by other ECOWAS States. The paper concludes that Nigeria should go ahead to support ECOWAS by encouraging other member states to be alive to their responsibility for the growth of ECOWAS.
Keywords: Nigeria, Membership, Multilateral, Economic Organizations, Evaluation, ECOWAS