SAHARANEWS – A foreign affairs expert, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, is unhappy about Nigeria’s exclusion from the ongoing Group of Seven (G7) Heads of Government Summit in France.
Akinterinwa, a former Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), said Nigeria might have been left out because of the country’s poor foreign policy focus.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and the country with the largest population, which should have qualified her for an invitation to the meeting of the top industrialised nations.
Nigeria was not also invited to the last summit held in Canada. Only Senegal, South Africa and Egypt were invited.
Speaking to an online publication, The Pledge, at the weekend, Akinterinwa said: “You would need to be agreeable to be invited to take a decision. So, who they believe should be invited are those countries that they have invited.
“So, truth of the matter is that Nigeria’s foreign policy is lacklustre; it doesn’t have any focus, and it is not ideologically driven; always very reactive. “More importantly, the President is the chief servant, but the entourage working with him are not allowing him to see clearly.
“One major reason which explains why we couldn’t have been invited is that countries like Senegal, their foreign policies are always well-protected in France. They are very close to the European Union, but our own former colonial master is the one going out of the European Union. So, how will you want Britain to now come, advice and be pushing for Nigeria to be invited to an organisation itself is seeking to get out from? It’s not logically consistent.
“Our foreign policy objectives are at best ill-defined. We don’t have it. Look at what we call foreign policy focus. Donald Trump set one example. He said America first. What does that mean? America first simply means that the determination of the priority of interest whenever they are at stake; it means under no circumstance will there be any interest that is superior to that of the United States of America.
“Donald Trump, after America first, moved to the level of saying Make America Great Again. That has been his propaganda, but now as he is contesting for re-election now, he is saying “Keep America Great’, he is not saying Make America Great, he is saying that America is already great, let us sustain it.
“What are we doing about Nigeria? In South Africa, they are killing Nigerians on a daily basis and then the foreign minister will come and tell us that they have signed one agreement with South Africa or they are going to have bi-national Commission. We are not really serious in this country. We have people whether they are cabinet members or politicians, who only think in terms of the centre-plan as national interest.”
The G7 is a bloc comprising industrialised democracies, namely Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
They meet yearly to discuss issues such as global economic and political governance. Like the G20, the G7 does not have a permanent secretariat or legal status and features the participation of ministers, central bank governors and heads of states of major industrialised economies, with member states accounting for 10 per cent of the world’s population and 46 per cent of the global GDP.