President Bola Tinubu’s invitation to participate in the recent G20 summit in India marks a significant milestone for Nigeria, and an indication of possible admission into the group. It is crucial for Nigeria to view this move as the starting point towards becoming a full-fledged member of the group. In order to exert its position as the leading economy in Africa, Nigeria must seize this opportunity and regain its former glory in diplomacy and leadership on the continent.
Nigeria’s participation in the summit should open the doors for the country to become a full-fledged member of the group. It is important to explore the importance of Nigeria’s membership of the G20 and how it can contribute and leverage the country’s economic growth and diplomatic influence. Despite the temporary void in representation at ambassadorial posts, as a result of the recall of Nigeria’s Ambassadors and High Commissioners in all its missions all over the world, the country should still renew its efforts and employ all diplomatic shuttles and tactics to secure this vital membership of the G20.
Whilst seeking membership of the group, and positioning the country as a foreign direct investment destination of choice, it is imperative that we pay serious attention to the domestic recovery of our economy, security, create an enabling environment for business and ease all the entry barriers for economic activities in the country.
Membership of the G20 will ensure economic growth and provide Nigeria with access to a platform that shapes global economic policies. As the leading economy in Africa, Nigeria has the potential to contribute significantly to discussions on trade, investment, and development. By actively participating in the G20, Nigeria can attract foreign direct investment, foster economic growth, and create job opportunities for its citizens. The G20 membership will also enhance Nigeria’s credibility as a reliable and stable economy, attracting more international partnerships and collaborations. The number of Indian companies that have indicated interests in committing sizable investments to Nigeria on the heels of the president’s trip to India is quite encouraging.
Another example of the benefits that accrue to members of the group can be seen in South Africa’s membership of the G20 which has allowed the country to strengthen its economic ties with other global powers, leading to increased trade and investment opportunities.
Membership of the G20 also confers some level of diplomatic influence, and will restore Nigeria’s former glory in economic diplomacy and leadership on the African continent. As a member, Nigeria will have a platform to voice its concerns and advocate African interests on global issues such as climate change, security, dumping of substandard goods, and sustainable development. Nigeria’s diplomatic influence within the G20 will extend beyond Africa, allowing the country to shape global policies and contribute to finding solutions to pressing global challenges.
For example, Brazil’s membership of the G20 has elevated its diplomatic influence, enabling the country to play a significant role in global climate change negotiations and peacekeeping efforts.
Membership of the G20 holds the key to unlocking Nigeria’s immense potential. By actively engaging with the world’s most powerful and influential organisation, Nigeria can learn from the experiences of other member countries, peer review, and implement best practices in various sectors.
This knowledge exchange will contribute to the country’s development and help address challenges such as corruption, insecurity, infrastructure development, poverty eradication, and assist in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. Nigeria’s membership of the G20 will also enhance its global image and attract more opportunities for collaboration and partnerships.
It is right to say that China’s membership of the G20 has allowed the country to learn from other member countries’ experiences and implement successful economic policies leading to its rapid economic growth and development.
- Sonny Iroche is a 2022/2023 Senior Academic Visitor at the African Studies Centre of the University of Oxford