Due to Nigeria being the most opportunistic African country with its surprisingly and continuously growing GDP from its vast oil reserves and its access to resources, Nigeria has quite a few international partners, both on a regional level and an international level. At the international level, Nigeria’s main partners include the United States and China. At the regional level, Nigeria’s partners include, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon. However, it is Nigeria’s growing relationship with international partners such as China and the U.S. that have benefited Nigeria the most.
Since Nigeria discovering a vast amount of oil deposits at the tip of the Niger River delta and economically growing to have the highest GDP within the entire continent of Africa, Nigeria has grown to attain a large amount of lucrative partners. Those partners mainly include China and the U.S. In terms of the U.S, besides Nigeria being one of the top suppliers of oil to the U.S., Nigeria and the U.S. have begun to work together to address major issues within Nigeria that is keeping this important African country from reaching its full potential. Within the six years, the U.S. and Nigeria have been able to work closely with one another through a committee jointly created by the two countries in 2010 called the Binational Commission (BNC). Since 2010, the BNC has allowed the U.S. and Nigeria to focus on high-level discussions and meet regularly, mainly focusing on the two countries’ key areas of mutual interest, which include: good governance, transparency, and integrity; energy and investment; regional security; the Niger Delta; and agriculture and food security. Recently, in July 2015 when President Obama and President Muhammad Buhari of Nigeria met at the White House, President Obama expressed U.S. commitment to strengthening and expanding U.S.-Nigerian relations by making clear of preparations to increase support for Nigeria’s government to combat the violent insurgencies made by the Boko Haram through the protection of human rights and bringing together security and development tools to not only defeat the Boko Haram, but also eliminate factors that fuel such extremism. These two leaders have also been able to discuss ways to strengthen Nigeria’s economy, which could be doing so much better if not for the constant presence of corruption. They have been able to do so by coming up with a comprehensive approach to tackling corruption and reforming Nigeria’s energy sector.
In the case of Nigeria and China’s relationship, their relations are much more fueled by economics and Chinese aid to Nigeria. According to Nigeria’s state oil company, Chinese businesses have recently pledged to invest US$80 billion on oil and gas infrastructure projects in Nigeria. Additionally, to support its swelling trade in Nigeria, China is funneling billions of dollars to build roads, rail lines, airport terminals, power plants and other desperately needed infrastructural issues in Nigeria. With the combination of oil and infrastructural ties to Nigeria, China is currently the top lender to Nigeria, since political instability, corruption and violence have made Western investors skeptical. Furthermore, with such involvement by China, in turn Nigeria has become the largest overseas customer of Chinese construction companies, which is an important market for Beijing, especially when China’s own economic growth is currently slowing down at the moment.
Regionally, Nigeria’s relationships with neighboring countries such as Chad, Niger, and Cameroon have grown. Since the violent terrorist acts of Boko Haram have unfortunately begun to spread into Nigeria’s neighboring countries, Nigeria and these other countries have made a mutual effort to support one another militarily to ultimately put an end to the Boko Haram.