You are on page 1of 74

CHAPTER TWO: PATTERNS OF EARLY POST-INDEPENDENCE BILATERAL RELATIONS

2.1 Introduction The British Government, as a result of its experience with Indias independence in 1947, had kick-started the decolonization process in its colonies after the second world war. Part of the process included the training and mentoring of Nigerians that would take over the administration process of the existing political and economic structure of the country. Lawal in his study noted that the training of a Nigerian human resource that will manage the Nigerian enterprise was part of the 1945 Colonial Development and Welfare Act and the objective is to create a class of Nigerians that will be beholden to the British in the future1. The patterns of the early post-independence Britain-Nigeria relations demonstrated the long-term planning ability of the British government in its relations with former colonies. 2.2 Nigeria-Britain Relations during the Balewa Administration On the night of 1st October 1960, the Union Jack was lowered and the Nigerian green-white-green flag was hoisted for the first time, thus signaling the birth of a newly independent state. Later in the day, Nigerias Prime Minister Sir Tafawa Balawa[1912-1966] delivered the independence speech in which he paid glowing tributes to the departing British administration. In the speech, the Prime Minister declared inter alia that We are grateful to the British officers whom we have known, first as masters, and then as leaders, and finally as partners, but always as friends. This statement, among other things, is an announcement of the disposition of the Nigerian leadership towards Britain during the period of 1960 to 1966.

The major issues that shaped the bilateral relations during the Balewa years were: The congo crises; Trade and cultural relations(commonwealth); Non-alignment; South Africa; the fugitive offender and: the Anglo-Nigeria Defence Pact. During the Congo crises of 1960-1964, the Balewa government adopted policies that were at variance with the expectations of internal public opinion and several African nationalist groups. The analysis of the Congo crises had been achieved elsewhere and need not delay us3. However, it is important to note that a large section of the Nigerian informed public, the opposition and the press had favoured a radical stance in support of the Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. Nigerias position was positively sided with the position of Britain and the United states in that Balewa declared that Nigerias active support for the UN Peacekeeping Operation in the Congo, providing troops and materials, was to see that there is law and order that is all our interest4 . The ideological undercurrents in the Congo crisis were thus ignored by Nigeria. The United Nations was rather not supportive of the African Prime Minister, thus protecting colonial or neo-colonial interests5 . Therefore, that Balewa ignored the basic problem of neo-colonialism in the Congo only to support the UN in maintaining the colonial status quo for the sake of law and order was a total negation of his administrations role conception to emancipate African countries from all appearances of western colonialism6. The Balewa government also professed the non-aligned stance in its foreign policy but the administration made a poor attempt to hide its pro-British stance. Several works have noted the outright pro-British stance of Nigeria under Balewas government . For example on the Rhodesian [Zimbabwe] issue, Balewa took a conservative stance in the harsh apartheid rule and unilateral declaration of independence of Ian Smith. Nigeria did not honour the OAU decision that member-states should break diplomatic relations with Britain for tacitly supporting

Smith. Balewa rather preferred to seat the OAU and Britain down and settle the rift7 . Another issue that shattered Nigerias Non-aligned credential was the AngloNigeria Defence Pact of 1961.The Anglo-Nigerian Defence Pact was said to be a precondition for Nigerias independence and was drafted in London in 1958. The agreement had the blessing the leaders of the three regions, that is Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr.Nnamdi Azikiwe and Alhaji Ahmadu Bello. The Prime-Minister Sir Tafawa Balewa signed the Pact on behalf of Nigeria in 1960. The defence agreement was viewed as an anticommunist instrument and it was approved of by the developed nations of the West and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization[NATO] while it was viewed with suspicion by several developing nations including the communist bloc. In any case, opposition from the Nigerian public which culminated in the demonstrations by the university students against the treaty led to its abrogation in 1961. The Balewa government also took cue from the British government position in relation to the apartheid in South Africa. For example during the Sharpeville massacre of March, 1960 the Balewa government not only refused to implement the proposal for a ban of importation of South African goods and the expulsion of South Africa from the Commonwealth but allowed increased importation of South African goods and went ahead to invite the racist regime to participate in Nigerias independence celebrations8. These policies were not in unity with the expectations of Nigerias enlightened public opinion and African Nationalist movements and the Pan-African stand of the time. More so is the expectation of Nigerias potential leadership potential in Africa and leadership of the African, Carribbean and Pacific countries. In the area of trade, Britain was the major trade partner of Nigeria during the Balewa years and even the trend continued during the civil war years up till 1971.

In other words, the Nigeria did little to diversify its trading patterns since the trade structure had been developed since the days of the colony. The table below shows the patterns of trade relations between Nigeria and its major trading partners:
Years Exports Western Countries including Japan 157,521,000 92.6 256,389,748 92.4 571,164,203 89.2 United Kingdom Eastern European Countries and China 1,996,000 1.8 3,349,282 1.2 22,430,115 3.5 Imports Western Countries including Japan 181,833,000 81.8 222,891,488 86.9 470,164,573 87.2 United Kingdom Eastern European Countries and China 6,920,000 3.1 11,269,499 4.4 30,396,217 5.6

1961 % 1966 % 1971 %

76,217,000 44.8 105,177,404 37.9 139,277,502 21.8

85,192,000 38.3 76,252,525 29.7 172,079,294 31.9

Source: Federal Office of Statistics, Annual Abstract of Statistcs December 1961, 1966, 1977(Lagos: Government Printer) From the table above, it can be seen that the United Kingdom is the major trading partner of Nigeria while the western countries including Japan occupy the major trading bloc. This was largely informed by the existing colonial trading structure put in place by the departing British government and the anticommunist stance of the Balewa foreign policy. The anticommunist stance made Nigeria to decline foreign aid from the communist bloc and form close relationship with the western powers. According to Olajide Aluko Sir Abubakar knew aid could be forthcoming from the communist countries his view was that aid should be taken only from real genuine friends and not from self-interested (that is communist) countries9. By and large, Nigeria-Britain relations was very cordial during the Balewa years and the relations culminated in the hosting of the Commonwealth Summit in 1966. The British Government also cooperated with the Government of Nigeria under the Fugitive Offenders Act of 1881 by extraditing opposition leader, Anthony Enahoro in 196310. The pro-British, pro-West and conservative nature of the Balewas

foreign policy can largely be excused due to the peaceful and relatively friendly manner through which Nigeria and Britain parted ways and the effect of the already mentioned Colonial Economic Development and welfare plan of 1945 which was implemented to discourage the development of radical elements and communism in the country. It must be noted that towards 1966, Sir Tafawa Balewa has started shedding uncritical support of the Britain on international issues. This was demonstrated by the clear anti-British position of the successful expulsion of the racist South-Africa from the Commonwealth organization11. It was at the same Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting [CHOGM] in January 1966, that the British Premier, Harold Wilson disclosed to Sir Tafawa Balewa of an MI6 intelligence report that stated that a coup dtat is to be implemented by some elements within the Nigerian Army. The amiable Sir Tafawa Balewa lost his life in the January 15 1966 coup that brought the military into power. 2.3 Nigeria-Britain Relations during the Civil War The events of the January 15 1966 coup would later snowball into a bloody revenge coup, massacre of persons of eastern origin in the North and a thirtymonth civil war. Throughout the chain of events, the British government played significant role that influenced outcomes in the different events that made up a bloody episode in the political history of Nigeria. The analysis of the first military coup in Nigeria and July 29th mutiny and countercoup had been achieved elsewhere12 and hence need not delay this study.However what is important to note is the role the British government played in the preservation of the corporate existence of Nigeria. The leaders of the northern mutineers that toppled the Ironsi government were bent on secession of the North from the rest of the federation. It was however the British High Commissioner in

Lagos, Sir Francis Cumming Bruce and the United States Ambassador, Mr. Elbert Matthews that convinced the coup plotters in and especially the middle belt officers among them in the closing days of July 1966 that the north cannot survive without the taxes derived from the South. Moreover, the British and the American ambassadors told the northern officers that their respective governments would not recognize or provide aid to a new northern state13. Eventually the British Ambassador helped in the ascension to power of Lt.Colonel Yakubu Gowon. Ambassador Cumming-Bruce would later in September, 1996 describe Colonel Gowon in the following manner to the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs: Gowon has the same kind of pragmatic approach as Abubarkar[Tafawa Balewa], he has no patience with extremist African demands and would like to help us14. The non-recognition of the leadership of Colonel Gowon by the

military Governor of Eastern region, Lt.Colonel Ojukwu, and the continued massacres in the north against persons of eastern origins among other reasons would later plunge the country into a thirty month civil war. The British involvement in the Nigerian civil war on the side of the Federal Military Government was a decisive factor in the Federal victory over the Biafrans in January 1970. Some scholars have tried to explain away the British support for the Federal military government against the secessionist Biafra on the grounds of the moral need felt by the British government to prevent the break-up of its former largest African colony15. Other accounts have tried to advance a political explanation of the traditional British support and the promotion of the Northern interests in Nigeria16 while others have situated the British support for the federal side within the general cold war international politics of containing and minimizing the influence of the communist bloc in West Africa generally and Nigeria particularly17. These explanations are partly true but this section would show that

the British interest in the war was largely predicated on the petroleum resources in Nigeria and how to safeguard British investments in the country and the concern for the security of the British nationals working in the country. The British involvement in the Nigerian civil war is a study in the realist protection of national interest. In the build up to the crises, the British government made spirited attempts to get the new head of state, Lt.Colonel Gowon to stop the killing of the Ibos18. In a secret memorandum, the British High Commissioner was of the following opinion concerning the crises:
The Northern murderers are certainly making it as difficult as possible for the east to refrain from secession. The disastrous consequence for the northern economy are brushed aside by even sophisticated northerners as secondary to the need to make it quite impossible for the ibos ever again to aspire to play any decisive part in the north on the lines that almost all northerners believe that the Ironsi regime intended to establish an ibo stranglehold. This is not a rational reaction and cannot be countered by logical argument. It derives from hatred, fear and a sense of inferiority in the modern competitive race19.

The British government also advised against the idea of excising the oil-producing areas of Calabar, Ogoja and Rivers [COR] from the ibo dominated areas so as to weaken the position of Ojukwu20. The British government was of the opinion that such a drastic move by the Federal Military Government [FMG] could force the Eastern Region to secede. In fact the British government actually believed that Colonel Ojukwu would not make a Unilateral Declaration of Independence unless this seemed to be the only means of avoiding Northern action to split the east and deprive the Ibos of the lions share in the oil revenues21. It must be noted that while the British left no stone unturned in their bid to avert the imminent war and secession, as subsequent events would show, this was largely not out of altruistic considerations but largely to protect British interests in a Nigeria. As part of its efforts aimed at mediating, the Foreign and

Commonwealth office gave the following guidelines, in a secret memorandum dated 30 september 1966, to the British High Commissioner in Lagos when consulting with the Nigerian government on the future political organization of the country:
In your discussions with the Nigerians, you should be guided by the following considerations of British Interest in the outcome of the current discussions: (a) Nigeria is potentially one of the most powerful African states, both economically and politically. The General Approach of successive Nigerian Governments to African and World affairs has been on the side of moderation and their influence has been exerted in ways generally favourable to us and the West as whole. It is probable that a fission of Nigeria into smaller states will lay several of them open to undesirable outside influence both because of the precarious viability of some of them and because of attractions from elsewhere in Africa. A particular danger in this respect is the traditional links of the North with Cairo. We regard it as an important British interest therefore that the unity of Nigeria should be maintained in as close a form as is politically possible. (b) There are extensive British commercial interests in Nigeria, and a total British expatriate population of approximately 17,000. A comparatively recent development of importance is the oil installation in the Delta area of the Eastern Region which is being developed by British capital and management and which last year was responsible for exports from Nigeria worth 78 million. Separation of Nigeria into states of doubtful economic viability would jeopardize the substantial commercial and investment interests we have in the country.22

The increasing tempo of the crises would later saw the British government considering neutrality or outright recognition of a seceding Eastern region as long as that territory can defend its independence23. The British company, Shell-BP had discovered oil in commercial quantities in the Niger-delta in 1956. The position of the company was complicated due to the fact that its oil production was split in ratio 2:1 between the Eastern region and the Midwestern region respectively24. The declaration of the State of Biafra on the 27 th May 1966 presented a complicated situation to the Whitehall. This is in the sense that the British adopted to walk the tight rope of sitting on the fence and at the same time trying to be in good favour with the Federal Authorities. In a memorandum to the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs, the British High Commissioner in Lagos made it

clear that in the new circumstances, it must clearly be the principal object of British policy to avoid doing anything which could seriously antagonize the state of Biafra in case it is successful in vindicating its independence. Our interests particularly in oil are so great that they must override any lingering regret we may feel for the disintegration of British made Nigeria25. The Biafran sovereign status had made it demand oil royalty directly from all oil companies operating in its territory and this prompted the FMG to institute a shipping embargo on the territory, however with the exclusion of oil tankers. The French company , SAFRAP, promptly complied by paying an initial 100,000 thousand pounds26. This was not the same case with Shell-BP. The oil company was initially committed to make the royalty payment once it was assured that the Biafran government has defacto control over the its territory at the time27. This was because the British government advised the company to exercise caution and reasoned that if Shell-BP paid royalties to Biafra, then the Nigerian government would have no other option but to extend the sea blockade to include oil tankers. The Nigerian government would also be forced to attack Biafra in order to show that Biafra was not in defacto control of its territories28. The oil struggle came to a head in middle of 1967 when Ojuwu made it explicitly clear to Shell-BP that payment of the royalty must be made on or before 1 st july 1967 and the company subsequently informed its home government of the intention to make a token payment of 250,000 pounds to Biafra. In this case the British government gave the company the Carte Blanche to do as it wishes but must accompany the payment with a letter that the payment was made under duress29. The knowledge of the impending payment of the 250,000 pounds made the Nigerian government to extend the shipping blockade to oil tankers. This made the British government to try to unsuccessfully convince the Nigerian government lift

the blockade30. The Nigerian government subsequently communicated to Shell-BP that it the company must pay the defaulted oil royalty immediately and once the oil flow stopped, the British Government decided to abandon its neutrality in the crises and back Nigeria. This was partly because Britain was advised that in the event of war, the odds were slightly in favour of the Federal Military Government31. The extent of the British support for the Federal cause was not disclosed publicly. This was because the Biafran propaganda had divided the British public opinion on the civil war, with a lot Britons, including members of the British parliaments having sympathies for Biafra32. However according to Cervenka massive supply of arms from Great Britain, which by December 1969 had reached a value a value of 10million pounds, which was more than enough to wipe the Biafrans off the face of the earth had there not been a surrender on 12 January 1970, this precisely what would have happened33. The massive sale of arms was done to facilitate a quick military victory for the Nigerian side so that oil production can continue. Another important area of the Bilateral relations during the civil war years is related to the issue of the financial relations between the countries. According to the wartime Minister of Finance, Obafemi Awolowo, the British government had unilaterally devalued the Pounds sterling on the 18th November 1967 without consulting other members of the Sterling Group [Countries whose currencies are tied to the British Pound sterling]34. According to the Awolowo, the Financial Times in its issue after the sterling devaluation included Nigeria in the list of countries which according to it, were certain to devalue.35 The Nigerian government decided not to slavishly devalue the Nigerian pound in sympathy with the british pound and this had the effect of protecting the foreign reserves of the country36.

On the whole, the British government supported the policy of one Nigeria only after it was convinced that this is the best option that could safeguard its interests and nothing more. This consequently led it to gain on two fronts: through the lucrative sale of armaments and also by ensuring that Nigerian oil continued to flow to its economy. In the final analysis, the real losers are the Nigerians on both sides that turned guns at each other. 2.4 Post-Civil War Relations Up to 1983 The Civil war years saw Nigeria adopting the non-aligned policy in its foreign policy by engaging both the Soviet Union and the Western governments, especially the British government on the same level. The FMG under Gowon, however shifted more to the British side after the cessation of hostilities in 1070. This was heralded by a state visit to the United Kingdom by General Gowon in 1971. The immediate post-civil war period was marked by increased production and sale of Nigerias crude oil with the British Petroleum increasing its participation in the Nigerian upstream and downstream sectors of the Industry. This section shall however focus on the issues of decolonization in Southern Africa and the economic policies of indigenization that the various regimes in Nigeria implemented after the civil war to 1983. Decolonization and the dismantling of the racist apartheid regime in Southern Africa became the focus, at least rhetorically, of Nigerian foreign policy during the period of 1970 t0 1983. In the existing literature on the Nigerian foreign policy during the period under review, the pattern is to analyse Nigerias activist role in Africa, its use of oil as an economic weapon to force the hands of the British and the American governments to its line of policy in relation to liberation of Southern Africa and the talk of Nigeria being a middle-power as a result of the petro-dollars

earning37. The next paragraph shall examine Nigerias foreign policy pronouncements on the Southern Africa issue in relation with Britain and the governments economic policy in relation to Britain. In 1970 after the Nigerian civil war, the first phase of decolonization has been completed. However the Southern part of Africa is still largely under Portuguese colonial rule[Angola, Mozambique] and white minority regimes [South Africa, Namibia, Southern-Rhodesia or later called Zimbabwe after independence in 1980]. In the case of Southern Rhodesia, the African population was about 4.9 million, while the persons of European descent numbered around 230 thousand 38. In 1965, the white minority in Rhodesia led by Ian Smith had voted in a whites only referendum for immediate independence. This had subsequently led to the Unilateral Declaration of Independence [UDI] by the Ian Smith led white minority regime. The Western powers and the British government, had through the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 232 that placed economic sanctions on Southern Rhodesia39. This is in addition to the sanctions like trade and arms embargos that was already placed on the Republic of South Africa due to its racist apartheid policies and the South Africa colonization of South-West Africa [Namibia], and Portugal due its policies in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau. Consequently the stage was already set for a conflict between the Independent states in Africa and the rest of the continents. The several African or Nigerian literature and journalistic accounts on the British position in the decolonization and apartheid issues in the Southern Africa tends to largely castigate Britain or accuse it of selling-out to white minority regime or being racist in its dealings40 and not doing much to bring about the freedom of the oppressed people in that region. It is true that Britain had sole responsibility of ensuring the political independence of its former territories in Southern Africa and

ensuring majority rule in apartheid South Africa and evidence shows that Britain defaulted in this area of responsibility. For example in the case of Southern Rhodesias declaration of Independence, the British position was only limited to non-recognition and the use of economic sanctions and the attempts to enforce the United Nations Sanctions but which Britain also noted in 1965 and later in 1978 to be fraught with difficulty in implementing and therefore ineffective 40. Another example is then continued sale of arms to the racist South Africa, the sharing of nuclear technology with the apartheid regime, among other policies, while disregarding the condemnation of O.A.U41.Therefore, the position of Britain in respect to decolonization and the existence of racist regimes was largely that of indifference to the plight of black Africans and the high priority placed on the British economic and political interests as earlier shown in the analysis of British policies during the Nigerian civil. In the opinion of this study, international politics is largely about the pursuit of national interests and nothing more. The question begging for answer is that to what extent did Nigeria achieved her objective of decolonization and dismantling of racist regimes in Southern Africa. Immediately after the Civil war, the huge receipts from oil made Nigeria to embark on ambitious development programs. At the home front, the governments of Gowon, Murtala and Obasanjo implemented the indigenization policies which aimed to increase the participation Nigerians in the ownership of leading industries of light manufacturing, financial services and petroleum42. It must be noted that while the indigenization policies were sold to the public as means of increasing the ownership of Nigerians of businesses hitherto dominated by expatriates capital, the policies in effect only amounted to means used by the political elite to acquire participation shares in the expatriate companies. In effect, British flag companies like John Holt, Lever Brothers, Barclays Bank, Standard Bank, International Bank

for West Africa, Patterson-Zochonis, United Trading Company, United African Company and others had their management and equity ownership shift from expatriate to Nigerians. In the case of the United African Company [U.A.C], it was during this period that Nigerian managing directors like Christopher Abebe,

Ernest Shonekan emerged. At the Southern African scene, the British government pursued its foreign policies of indifference to black Africans while continuing its economic and political relations with the racist regimes. In the case of Southern Rhodesia, the economic sanctions had proved ineffective because trading in the prohibited materials like petroleum still continued 43. The British government had put forward its five essential conditions for a legal independence which are: unimpeded progress towards majority rule; guaranteed against retrogressive constitutional changes; immediate improvements in the political status of Africans; progress towards ending racial discrimination; acceptance of any Anglo-Rhodesian settlement terms by the people of Rhodesia as a whole44. However, the British government, as events would later show, was ready to jettison these principles in relation to Rhodesia. In a series of secret meetings between British Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas Home and Ian Smith, the two governments agreed to a settlement in November 1971 for a sharing of power between the illegal white minority regime and the so called moderate black Rhodesians45. According to Ann Genova, the agreement had essentially dismissed the five principles that the British government required for independence46. Consequently, the United Nations flatly rejected the agreement 47. In Nigeria, Nigerian students from Ahmadu Bello University demonstrated in Zaria, Kano and Kaduna by storming the streets and throwing stones at the Office of the British High Commission in Kaduna48. The Afro-Asian Solidarity Organization also called for Nigeria to leave the Commonwealth and Nationalize

all British and American firms and General Gowon used public opportunities to denounce British activites while privately assuring that British investment in Nigeria was secure. He threatened reprisals against British Commercial interests in Nigeria if the agreement between the British government and Ian Smiths Rhodesia goes through but remained unchanged in his promise to the United Kingdom that no action would be taken on the issue of Southern Rhodesia 49. The same situation of the Nigerian government under Gowon can be applied to the issue of apartheid in South Africa and Angolan independence. In truth, Nigerian government made generous financial contributions to the O.A.U libration committee and the libration groups but the governments position in relation to Britain and Southern Africa could be summarized as follows: public threatening and private assurances. The Murtala/Obasanjo regimes had been hailed in the accounts of the Nigerian foreign policies as been radical, bold, able to stand up against Britain, the United States and other Western powers, pro-African50. The Africa has come of Age speech that General Murtala delivered at the O.A.U summit in February 1976 and Nigerias unilateral recognition of Agostinho Neto led Movement Popular Liberacion Angola [MPLA] as the legitimate government of an Independent Angola had also captured the imagination of several Nigerian scholars and journalists so that the Murtala/Obasanjo regime had been dubbed the golden years of Nigerian foreign relations51. However, with the benefits of the recently declassified British government documents, this study has been able to identify wide gap between the governments foreign policy rhetoric and the actual economic policy towards Britain and other Western powers in relation to Southern Africa. The case of the nationalization of British Petroleum will be examined.

In an interview with a research fellow at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs [NIIA], the reason for the government take-over of the assets of British Petroleum [BP] was because it was discovered that the company was selling Nigerias oil to the racist South Africa52. Meanwhile other accounts in the literature has it that the company was nationalized so as to Margaret Thatcher led Britain to change its policy of pampering Ian Smith government and ensure genuine majority rule. Consequently with these arguments, Nigeria was cast in the mold of African super-hero that was able to use its resources to fight colonialism. It has been earlier shown the role Shell-BP played in the support of the Federal Government during the civil war. It should be noted that British Pretroleum [Nigeria] is a subsidiary of BP[London] and it is involved in marketing of Petroleum products in the Nigerian downstream sector and its is distinct from Shell-BP which is joint venture agreement between British Petoleum[London] and the Netherlands owned Royal Dutch Shell for the exploration and production of Nigerian oil53. The Federal Military Government , in July 1979, just about two months to the expiration of the military regime, had announced the nationalization of Shell-BP on the grounds of the companys shipment of Nigerian crude oil to South Africa despite the Nigerian government prohibition 54. Ann Genova had argued that the Federal Military Government did not nationalize BP but actually bought out the controlling shares of BP[London] from BP[Nigeria] and the ordinary shares of BP in the joint venture Shell-BP55. As a result of these transactions, BP[Nigeria] transformed to African Petroleum [AP] and Shell-BP became Shell Petroleum Development Company [SPDC]. The rhetorics of the government had often claimed that Nigeria would use its oil as weapon to force the British government to its line actions. Earlier when the Murtala junta seized power,the Nigerian government postponed indefinitely a visit

to Nigeria by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh which would have taken place between 14th to 23rd October 1975. The successor regime later accused the British government of complicity in the aborted coup that killed General Murtala Mohamed in 1976 but the Obasanjo government did not sever relations with the British Government56. Therefore, the take-over or nationalization of the BP was not a foreign policy strategy but actually part of the general economic policy of indigenization that has been mentioned earlier. For instance, the government also bought ownership shares in the Italian Agip Nigeria and the French company SAFRAP Nigeria and changed the name to Unipetrol57. In the final analysis, Ann Genova submitted that the publicity given to the buy-out of BP from Nigeria assets was simply to use Southern Africa liberation to boost Nigerias leadership claims and roles in the O.A.U and Africa ad also to increase the popularity of the regime locally. However what she failed to add is that the buy-out of the company, few months to the termination of the regime, was also to complete the ruling military and civilian elite project of using the states resources to buy the ownership of expatriate businesses. 2.5 The Umaru Dikko Affair It is not uncommon for different Nigerian governments since independence to ask Britain to turn over politicians that have fallen out of favour with the ruling regime and who are staying within the territories of Her Majesty the Queen. It must be noted that, Britain among other things, serves as an important watering hole for members of the Nigerian political class and economic elite. In other words, Britain is a preferred destination for holiday, health-tourism, education and indeed a place of refuge from a hostile government or political atmosphere at home. It was for the last reason that the Minister of Transport in the Shagari administration, Dr. Umaru

Dikko took off to the United Kingdom after military overthrew the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari on the 31st December 1983. It has been mentioned earlier that the British Government cooperated with government of Sir Tafawa Balewa in the fugitive offender case of Chief Anthony Enahoro. It must be noted that the British Government did not cooperate with the Nigerian government request for the extradition of the former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon after the Obasanjo accused him of complicity in the Murtala coup of 1976. The account of the kidnap attempt of the former minister, Umaru Dikko had been achieved elsewhere, hence need not delay this study58. It is pertinent to point out that the London Metropolitan Police was informed on the date of the event, 4 th July 1984 of the suspected abduction of Alhaji umaru Dikko by his personal assistant who observed the abduction from a safe distance59. The event led to a diplomatic row between Nigeria and Britain and this was characterized by retaliatory acts of Nigeria through stopping and arresting a British Caledonian Aircraft in Lagos after the British Government stopped, searched and held the Nigerian plane that was supposed to transport the abducted former Minister back to Nigeria; the recall of Nigerias ambassador to Britain by the Nigerian government and the advice to Britain to do same to its ambassador in Lagos; the retaliatory arrest of British nationals living in Nigeria after Britain had arrested Nigerian citizens that were suspected to be part of the kidnap attempt60. The matter was debated two days later in the British House of Commons and the members of parliament recalled the Libyan embassy incident and the House noted Nigerias denial of involvement in the kidnap attempt 61.Eventually by the middle of July, the diplomatic row had subsided and it is to the credit of the British

governments desire to opt for a damage control rather than severing relations with a member of the Commonwealth62. By September 13 1984, the diplomatic fencemending had led to the agreement between Nigeria and Britain to work toward improving relations63and in the end, the two countries put the matter behind them. 2.6 Chapters Conclusion The chapter has examined the patterns of early post-independence bilateral relations between Nigeria and Britain. The study had shown that the relations between Nigeria and Britain had been characterized by highs and lows with Britain showing readiness to do away with the policy of one Nigeria as long as this would serve her interests. The chapter also showed that in the Bilateral relations, Britain pursued its foreign policy with consummate skill and there is harmony between its economic and political interests and the way it pursues them. This is in direct contrast to the lack of harmony between Nigerias economic and foreign policies during the early post independence period. The rest of the study shall examine the level of maturity that Nigeria brought to bear on its foreign policy as far as the Nigeria-Britain relations are concerned.

ENDNOTES 1. O.A Lawal, Britain and Decolonization in Nigeria: 1945-1960

(Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Ibadan, March 1993) p 234 2. Olajide Aluko, Nigerian Foreign Policy in Olajide Aluko [ed] The Foreign Policies African States (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1977) p 179 3. On Congo crises see Legum Colin, The Congo Disaster (New-York: Penguin Books, 1961) and Villafaa, Frank R., Cold War in the Congo: The Confrontation of Cuban Military Forces, 1960-1967 (London: Transaction Publishers, 2012) 4. A Tafawa Balewa, MR.PRIME MINISTER, A Selection of Speeches by Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa(Lagos: National Press, 1964) p.49 5. S.F Folarin, National Role Conceptions and Nigeras African policy 1985 2007 ( Unpublished Ph.d Thesis submitted to the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Covenant University, Sango-otta, 2010) p. 255 6. Ibid. 7. E. R Adigbuo, Nigeria's national role conceptions: the case of Namibia, 1975-1990 ( Unpublished Ph.D Thesis submitted to the University of Johanesburg, 2005) pp 173-175 8. A Ajala, Nigeria and the Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa paper presented at SAPES Trust fifth anniversary Annual Colloquium, 14-18 March 1993 9. Olajide Aluko, Nigerian Foreign Policy p, 182

10. United Kingdom Parliament, Chief Anthony Enahoro and the Fugitive Offenders Act House of Lord Debate, Hansard, 14 March 1963 vol 247 c857 11.A.B Oyebode, Towards a new policy on development in A.b Akinyemi, [ed] Nigeria and the World- readings in Nigerian foreign policy foreign policy, (Ibadan: Oxford University Press, 1978) pp 107-116 12. For more on the 1966 coup dtats in Nigeria see Adewale Ademoyega Why We Struck (Ibadan: Evans Brothers, 1981); Max Siolun Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture 1966-1976 (London: Algora

publishing, 2009) ; Ben gbulie Nigeria's Five Majors: Coup D'tat of 15th January 1966, First Inside Account (Onitsha: Africana First Publishers, 1981) 13.For more on the British and American Ambassadors intervention in the Secession bid of the Northern officers Coup of July 1966 see Abegunrin, Olayiwola, Nigerian Foreign Policy under the Military: 1966-1999 (Westport: Praeger Publishers, 2003) 14.Letter to the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs from the British High Commissioner in Lagos, 7 Sept. 1966 (PRO/PREM/13/1040) 15.For more on British involvement in the Nigerian civil war see A. Akinyemi, The British press and the Nigerian civil war, African Affairs, 71 (1972) N. Brown, Arms supply, Venture, 21, 1969 ; and J. Elaigwu, The Nigerian civil war and the Angolan civil war, Journal of Asian and African Studies, 12, 1977, 16.Ibid. 17.Ibid.

18. Although the British Government may have backed the North on its rejection of the unification decree of General Ironsi, there is no evidence that it encouraged the massacre. Archival evidence shows that the British High Commissioner at the time made spirited efforts to get Gowon to do more to stop thekilling of the Ibos. Gowon however refused to face up to the facts of the scale of the killings and the extent of the Armys complicity. For more see, Memorandum from the British High Commissioner to Sir Morris James of the Commonwealth Office 1st October 1966 PRO/PREM/13/1041. 19.Ibid. 20. Ibid. 21.Memorandum from the British High Commissioner(Lagos) to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 6th September 1966 PRO/PREM/13/1040 22.Foreign and Commonwealth Office[London] to the British High Commissioner Lagos Secret Memorandum PRO/PREM/13/1040, 30 th September 1966 23. With the passage of time, the British Government realized that the majority of Nigerias oil was based in eastern Nigeria and Nigeria had the potential to threaten growing British economic interest in the country: oil. At that point Britain was willing to abandon its long-held view of one-Nigeria if such a move could help in securing its interests- the protection of its oil interest in Nigeria. For more see C. Uche Oil, British Interest and the Nigerian Civil War Journal of African History, Volume 49, 2008 24. Ibid. In the first quarter of 1967, the Federal Government requested that Shell-BP include in a supplementary agreement a clause that it would not under any circumstance make royalty payments to the eastern region. Shell was advised by its lawyers to pay royalty to the Eastern region government

if it could be shown that the government were in defacto control of the law and order in the region at the time of the payment. 25. In the new circumstance, it must clearly be the principal object of British Policy to avoid doing anything which could seriously antagonize the State of Biafra in case it is successful in vindicating its independence. Our interests, particularly in oil are so great that they must override any lingering regret we may feel for the disintegration of British made Nigeria British High Commissioner in Nigeria to the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs, 7th July 1967 (PRO/FO/25/232, Fo 32) 26. C. Uche Oil, British Interest and the Nigerian Civil War p129 27. Ibid. 28.Ibid. 29. Biafra did not receive this payment. See, Foreign and Commonwealth Office to British High Commission[lagos] Request to pay 250000 pounds sterling into a Swiss bank account or in swiss francs is being held up, you may inform federal authorities at your discretion.., (PRO/FCO/38/111, fo.153) 30.Steel to Hetherington Secret Memorandum 30th June 1967

(PRO/FCO/38/11, fo.87) 31.Undated Confidential Foreign and Commonwealth Office memorandum Nigeria: A background note on British interests and the governments approach to the civil war (PRO/FCO/65/179) 32. The British government supplied more arms to the Nigerian government than it was publicly prepared to admit. 33.Zdenek Cervenka The Unfinished Quest for African Unity: Africa and OAU (London: Julian Friedman Publishers, 1977)

34. Obafemi Awolowo,

The Financing of the Nigerian Civil and its

Implications for the Economy of the Natoion lecture delivered at the University of Ibadan 16th May, 1970 www.igbofocus.co.uk/The_Biafra accessed on 21 September 2012 35. Ibid. 36.Ibid. 37.For more on Nigerian foreign policy see Mbachu, O., Foreign Policy Analysis: The Nigerian Experience (Lagos: Kosoko Press, 1998); H. Assisi Asobie, Domestic Political Structure and Foreign Policy: The Nigerian Experience, 1960:1975.(Thesis for Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Economics, University of London, 1977) 38. Ann W Genova Oil and Nationalism in Nigeria (Unpublished Ph.D Thesis submitted to the Department of History, University of Texas, Austin, 2006) p.65 39.Ibid. 40. See D. Nabudere, Penguin,1977) 41. See South Africa. Plessey Radar Contract: Possible Breach of United Nations Arms Embargo August 01September 10 1979 (PRO/PREM/19/122) and Edward Heath Sales of Arms to South Africa Memorandum to the Cabinet (CAB/129/154/122) 42.Assisi Asobie, Indigenization, Class Formation and Class Struggles in Nigeria, Afrique et Developpement/Africa Development. Vol,13, No.2, 1998 pp29-76. 43. See Rhodesian Sanctions: Further Inquiry Cabinet Paper 9 th October 1978 (CP/28/98) The Political Economy of Imperialism (London:

44. Memorandum from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the British High Commission in Lagos Rhodesia 24 November 1971

(PRO/FCO/36/793) 45.Memorandum from the British High Commissioner(Lagos) to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 4th December 1971 PRO/FCO/36/1799, 3 46. Ann Genova, Oil and Nationalism in Nigeria p93. 47.Ibid. 48.Memorandum from the British High Commissioner(Lagos) to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 4th December 1971 PRO/FCO/36/1799, 3 49.Ibid. 50. H.A Asobie, The Foreign Policy of a Developing Nation: An Analysis, in EC Amucheazi, [ed].,Readings in Social Sciences; Issues in National Development.(Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishers, 1980) pp59-79 51.Ibid. 52.Interview: Professor Akinjide Osuntokun, Professor at the Department of History and Strategic Studies, Redeemers University, Mowe, 68years, December 13th 2012 53. Ann Genova Oil and Nationalism in Nigeria p.127 54.Memorandum from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the British High Commission in Lagos Rhodesia 24 November 1971

(PRO/FCO/36/793). The report showed that it is not logistically and economically feasible to Trnsport Nigerias oil to South Africa as it is natural for the shipment to be made to Europe and North America. 55.Ann Genova, Oil and Nationalism in Nigeria p.128 56.O. Mbachu, Foreign Policy Analysis: The Nigerian Experience (Lagos: Kosoko Press, 1998) p 86.

57.Assisi Asobie, Indigenization, Class Formation and Class Struggles in Nigeria 58. Adeoye Akinsaya The Dikko Affair and Anglo-Nigerian Relations. The International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 3 (July 1985) 59.Ibid. 60.Ibid. 61. House of Commons sitting Mr. Umaru Dikko(Abduction) Hansard 6 th July 1984 62.Britain Tries to limit Dikko Affairs effect on Nigeria ties The Christian Science Monitor 17th July 1984 63.Around the World: Nigeria and Britain Agree to seek better ties NewYork Times September 14th 1984

CHAPTER THREEE: BILATERAL ECONOMIC RELATIONS

3.1 Introduction The previous chapter, among other things, examined the reason for the nationalization of the British Petroleum down-stream operations of the Shell-BP in the late seventies. This chapter shall examine the patterns and structure of the Nigeria-Britain economic relations from 1980.The emphasis of this chapter shall be on the global economic environment that the two countries operated in, their respective policy choices and these influenced the relations, human rights issues, crude oil, democracy and bilateral air services agreements. This chapter uses the world system and individual levels of analysis to achieve its objectives. 3.2 Economic crises and Bilateral relations The global economic recession of the late seventies and eighties have been documented elsewhere and need not delay this study. However, what are relevant to this study firstly are the policy shifts that occurred in the Britain and the United States as a result of the economic recession in those countries and the policies adopted by the Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher of the United States and Britain respectively and secondly, the Nigerian debt crises during the economic recession. The entry of Nigeria into the debt trap during the administration of General Obasanjo has been documented by his Commissioner for Finance, Major General J.J Oluleye1. The securing of loan by Nigeria during the seventies fell within the prevailing patterns of the third world debt during the period. Several third world countries that fell into the debt trap as a result of the balance of payment problems

that they encountered as result of the combined rise in the price of crude oil since 1973, which continued till the end of the decade. In fact, the indebted countries, including Nigeria, secured the jumbo loans to borrow the phrase of Nigerias Finance Minister, Major General Oluleye, from the international capital market 2. It is curious that while most third world countries that borrowed from the international capital markets were largely non-oil producing countries and the money lent to them was largely the huge petro-dollar that was earned by oil producing countries and which was saved in the European and British banks, Nigerian being an important oil producing country and also a beneficiary of the oil windfall of the seventies also joined other third world countries to borrow money. The post civil war expansionary economic policies were based on the huge oil revenue receipts and optimistic projections of future Cash inflow into the economy. Consequently the implementation of the third national development plan saw the Nigerian government taking over the leading heights of the Nigerian economy3. It is within this state economic expansion that this study situates the Nigerian government nationalization of British Petroleum marketing operations in Nigeria. On the international relations scene, the inflow of petro-dollar income made Nigeria to play big brother role in the African international relations4. In fact, the radical or at best the rhetorically colourful stance that Nigeria adopted during the decade of 1970 to 1980 in African affairs were largely buoyed by the huge receipts from oil5. In fact, the country expended so much on what Nwachukwu and Izoigwe termed adoration value rather than use value foreign policies 6. For instance General Gowon paid the salaries of the Civil servants in Grenada when the country has no strategic value to Nigeria7. As a result of the flamboyant spending on the foreign scene, domestic corruption and white elephant projects like the great cement importation and port congestion

of 1974, the economy began to show signs of recession. Meanwhile, on the international scene, the prices of oil had been crashing and this affected Nigerias revenue. For instance, the federal government revenuefell from $30 billion in 1976 to 5.2 billion dollars and 600 million dollars in 1977 and 1978 respectively. During the same period, contribution of petroleum to national production output drastically reduced by ten percent while the national deficit rose from $656 million in 1977 to $2.3 billion in 19798. No doubt, the huge expenditure that the country made on events like All Africa games and FESTAC 77(which shall be examined in the next chapter) had caused serious revenue strains. Since the end of the civil war, Nigeria had come to derive 95% of its revenue from oil production so that by 1978 when the international oil price reached its peak of $30 per barrel, the country earned around 50 billion dollars. The balance of payment problems had become apparent in 1978 but the problem can be managed through prudent economic management as the country still had enough external reserves to restore financial corrections. In any case, Nigerias commissioner of Finance, Major General J.J Oluleye to begin negotiation for external financing. The British banks contributed 16billion out of the 32 billion naira jumbo loan that the Obasanjo military government had gotten from the international capital market9. The fact that government secured market determined interest rates loans and not soft concessionary loans from the World bank and other development partners means that the single jumbo loan would be determined by the interest rates set by the British Bankers Association10. The General Obasanjo Government largely increased the countrys debt profile from the $496.9 billion in 1976 to over $2 billion in 197811. The Nigerian military policy makers wrongly believed that the loans were a short term measures and that

oil prices would later appreciate and the short term finance would be paid back 12. Subsequent events were to later prove this expectation as misplaced one. The United Kingdom government had become increasingly worried about the increasing cost of energy and oil and the growing power and influence of the middle-east oil producers. However, the British government was also in a dilemma because firstly the leading oil producers like Saudi Arabia and Nigeria were the largest trading partners to Britain and also the huge petrodollar revenues from these countries were deposited in British and other European Banks 13. In any case, the increasing oil prices and the use of oil for international politics as demonstrated by the Arab oil producers use of oil as weapon for foreign policy objectives, was to lead to commitment of more investment into the deep sea oil exploration and production at the North sea. The North- sea is a region atlantic ocean that largely lies between the British Isles, Norway, Denmark,Germany and Netherlands, with the United Kingdom and Norway controlling more than half of the proven reserves. In spite of the prohibitive cost of exploration and production, companies like British Petroleum and Norwegian Statoil successfully exploited oil from the North sea 14. Consequently, the contribution of the North sea oil producers to international oil production, which had been tightly controlled by the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) through their quota system and the brewing global economic recession, significantly led to the crash of oil prices as from 1978 upwards. The figure below shows the gradual decline of Nigerian oil production during the period under study:

Figure 3.1 Decline of Nigerias Crude Oil Production 1978 to 1983

Barrels[Billions]
3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983

Barrels[Billions]

Source: Giles Smith Buhari Moves fast to rescue economy with prompt debt repayment after his military take-over From the figure above, it could be seen that Nigerias oil production began to decline from 1978, reaching its lowest point in 1982. The dwindling oil revenue was not to act as check to Shagari governments spending as the government continued to borrow to finance its deficits15. The figure below shows the increase in Nigeria external borrowing in the same period: Figure 3.2 Nigerian External Debt Profiles 1977 to 1982

$ Billion
15 10 5 0 1977 1978 1979 1980 1982 $ Billion

Source: Giles Smith Buhari Moves fast to rescue economy with prompt debt repayment after his military take-over

From the figure above, it can be seen that while revenue from oil was reducing, the amount of debt was increasing, reaching 14 billion dollars in 1982. This means that Nigerias external debt had increased at seven times the amount it was five years earlier. During the same period, the British government had also benefitted from the economic expansion in Nigeria. The figure below shows the growth in the annual value of British exports to Nigeria: Figure 3.3 British Exports to Nigeria 1979 to 1983

UK Exports to Nigeria in Billion Pounds


1.6 1.4 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 UK Exports to Nigeria in Billion Pounds

Source: Giles Smith Buhari Moves fast to rescue economy with prompt debt repayment after his military take-over The figure above shows that by 1982, the value of United Kingdoms exports to Nigeria had started to decrease. The government of Shehu Shagari had paid a four day state visit to Britain between 4th and 9th of March 198116. The visit had the effect of thawing the cold political relations caused by the disagreements on Rhodesia crises and the nationalization of British Petroleum Nigeria during the

military rule. However, the most important aspect of the visit was the exchange of notes on commercial debts between the officials of the two governments and President Shagaris promise to a commitment of meeting of Nigerias financial obligations17. However, by 1982 and 1983, the business angle of the bilateral relations had become desperate as there were fears within the British financial circles that Nigeria like other third world countries might fail to be able to meet its debt obligations. In other words, the Bankers were afraid that Nigeria might declare bankruptcy18. It was as result of these fears that the British government under Margaret Thatcher and the American government under Ronald Reagan gave the political support for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund [IMF] for the prevention of debt default in the Less, Developed Countries [LDCs] 19. Part of the objective was to ensure the extend the implementation of the neoliberal policies that were already begun in the United Sates and Britain to the third world countries. Margaret Thatcher led British government had begun the implementation of a series of policies that would later in sum be dubbed neo-liberalism. According to Elizabeth Martinez and Arnoldo Garcia20, the main points of neoliberalism includes:

The rule of the market freedom for capital, goods and services, where the market is self-regulating allowing the trickle down notion of wealth distribution. It also includes the deunionizing of labor forces and removals of any impediments to capital mobility, such as regulations. The freedom is from the state, or government.

Reducing public expenditure for social services, such as health and education, by the government

Deregulation, to allow market forces to act as a self-regulating mechanism Privatization of public enterprise (things from water to even the internet) Changing perceptions of public and community good to individualism and individual responsibility.

Overlapping the above is also what Richard Robbins, in his book, Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism ideology of neoliberalism:

21

about some of the guiding principles behind this

Sustained economic growth is the way to human progress Free markets without government interference would be the most efficient and socially optimal allocation of resources

Economic globalization would be beneficial to everyone Privatization removes inefficiencies of public sector Governments should mainly function to provide the infrastructure to advance the rule of law with respect to property rights and contracts.

At the international level, this additionally translates to:


Freedom of trade in goods and services Freer circulation of capital Freer ability to invest

It was this neoliberal international environment that Nigeria was entrapped into as the Shagari government had to implement the IMF conditionalities for assistance in 198222. The negotiations with the IMF and the foreign Banks that made up the Paris Club and London Clubs of creditors had led to rescheduling of Nigerias deb t

when the Military, led by Major-General Muhamadu Buhari, overthrew the Shagari government on the 31st December 1983. The news of the change in government was met with apprehension in the British economic and financial circles due to the debt money and investment tied up within Nigeria. According to an editorial of a British newspaper, The Gladstone Times initial repayments [had] come due on $2 billion of loans from foreign banks [and] prompt payment of the fist $150 million debt would strengthen the credibility of Buhari23. The Times of London also reported that British companies have nearly 83 billion pounds at stake which translates into 40 percent of all foreign investment in Nigeria. Consequently the economic agents of the British government were afraid that the new regime might carry out expropriation of assets. The Buhari government facilitated the payment of $50 million within the first week of his assumption of office24. Ostensibly, the military administration had the intention of getting the support and recognition of the British and the United States government and to assure them concretely of the willingness of the new administration to continue the policies of the previous administration. However the dwindling revenue from oil would later limit the Buharis administrations ability to meet its obligations as well as implement a full-scale Structural Adjustment Programme as proposed by the IMF. Consequently the Buhari administration refused to agree to the IMF conditionality for devaluation of the naira, abolition of Petroleum subsidies and continuation of borrowing loans and rescheduling of debts25. The government instead, adopted the policy of counter-trade among other measures to procure essential goods and also to conserve foreign exchange26. It must be noted that around 44 percent of

Nigerias external debt were owed British exporters and this made the Britishs Export Credits Guarantee Department to be vociferous in its rejection of Nigerias proposal to reschedule debt payment early in late 198427. This economic state of affairs was the background to the Umaru Dikko crises that this study examined in the previous chapter and the combination of diplomatic and economic disagreements between Nigeria and the British government and its economic agents worsened the relations between the two countries. The buhari government was overthrown in August 1985 in a coup led by Major-General Ibrahim Babangida. The government of Major General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida restored the warm relations with a state visit to Britain in 198628. After the visit, the government implemented the IMF neoliberal economic policy of Structural

Adjustment Programme , debt rescheduling and the resumption of debt servicing. The debt servicing helped largely to eliminate the risk of default by the government. 3.3 Bilateral Economic Relations During the dictatorship of Abacha The military government of General Sanni Abacha ousted the Interim National Government of Ernest Shonekan in 1993. Not unlike any other unpopular

dictatorship, the regime used foreign policy to divert domestic attention from internal problems. As a result, the relations between Nigeria and Britain reached an all-time low during the life of the regime. The major issues that dominated the agenda of Nigeria-Britain relations during the period under review are democracy, human rights, economic libralization and trade. The previous adminsistationss policy of debt servicing and other neoliberal economic policies were continued. However, relations between the two

governments became increasingly worse when the British government criticized the governments human right practices. The military junta saw the call for the release of jailed opposition figures by Britain as unnnecessary meddling in the internal affairs of Nigeria29. Moreover, the British government was critricized by the Abacha government for providing sanctuary for opposition figures, including the opposition Radio Kudirat. The relations between the two countries eventually reached an all-time low with the expulsion of Nigeria from the Commonwealth Organization30. The British government had unsuccessfully appealled to the government of General Sanni Abacha to commute the death sentences to Ken Saro-wiwa and the ten Ogoni human and environmental activists. It is however unclear whether the British government would have unilaterally pushed for the expulsion of Nigeria from the Commonweath without the prodding and support of South Africa. It is however instructive to note that the trading relations between the two countries were not affected by the diplomatic row. The table below shows the patterns of Nigeria-Britain trade between 1992 and 1999: Britain-Nigeria Trade 1992-1998 Year 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 Export(N) 402558602 480319707 782493256 571453620 454315077 579612434 387306163 Import(N) 983731687 1468696868 1574378137 1564178791 1608074087 2265524662 1828768628

From the table above it could be seen that the political and diplomatic disagreements between Nigeria and Britain did not affect the trading relations between the two countries significantly. This is largely explainable by the fact that most Nigerias essential goods and machineries are sought from the United Kingdom, followed by the European Common market 31. As a result of this, a total breakdown of trading relations would have been injurious to Nigeria as well as Britain. 3.4 Democratic Dispensation and Bilateral Economic Relations The return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999 brought significant improvments to the Nigeria-Britain Relations. President Olusegun Obasanjo was concerned with the issue domestic economic recovery and the attraction of foreign investors to Nigeria. Consequently the readmission into the Commonwealth Organization on the 29th of May 1999 paved the way for the thawing of the bilateral relations. This section shall however examine the case studies of British investments and businesses in Nigeria and their impact on the bilateral relations. It must be noted that the economic policies of President Obasanjo were largely a continuation of the neoliberal policies of privatization, deregulation and devaluation that were begun the administration of Ibrahim Babangida. Therefore the Nigerian economic

environment and big market was thrown open for investments. This study examines the aviation and oil industries. The Nigerian Airways, the National flag carrier had become moribund as at 2000 and it became one of the public corporations that were slated for sale by the Bureau of Public Enterprises. There were high hopes that if the model adopted in the privatization of Kenya Airways were adopted, the moribund flag carrier would become a success story in a matter of years32. Conseequently after series of bidding

and prequalification exercises, Richard Bransons Virgin Atlantic emerged as the winner. Virgin Atlantic would later become the core investor and technical partner with the acquisition of 51% stake in the company at about $25 million, while the government of Nigeria has 49%. Virgin Nigeria33. However, by 2011, eleven years after investment, Virgin Nigeria had sold its stake in the company to Jimoh Ibrahim owned Nigeria Eagles Airways34. According to Richard Branson, the inimical business operational environment in Nigeria was the reason for the divestment. In his word he said:
"We have virgin's ill-fated footsteps by setting up a new airline in Africa, in conjunction with the Nigerian government, the details of the doomed attempts to crack the Nigerian market in the 2000s is better imagined. We put together a very good airline, the first airline in West Africa that was IOSA/IATA, operational safety audit accredited but unfortunately it got tied down to the politics of the country. We led the airlines for 11 years, we fought a daily battle against government agents who wanted to make a fortune from us, politicians who saw the government's 49% as a meal to seek for all kinds of favours. Watchdogs (regulatory bodies) that didn't know what to do & were persistently asking for bribes at any point. Nigerians are generally nice but the politicians are very insane. That may be ironic because the people make up the politicians but those politicians are selfish. We made N3billion for the federal government of Nigeria during the joint venture, considering that the government didn't bring anything to the table/partnership except dubious debts by the previous carrier, Nigeria Airways. The joint venture should have been the biggest African carrier by now if the partnership was allowed to grow, but the politicians KILLED it. Nigeria is a country we SHALL NEVER consider doing business in again35.

The Nigerian government and its officials is yet to deny the allegations. However the question begging for answer is that why wait eleven years before the realization that the environment was harsh? It should be borne in mind that while Richard Bransons Virgin Nigeria was the flag carrier, it was for most part, the sole user of the Bilateral Air Services agreement slot that is accruable to Nigeria on all the international routes including the highly lucrative London-Lagos and London-

Abuja routes36. In addition, Richard Branson sold its stake to Jimoh Ibrahim at an handsome price of $100 million, which translates into a profit of $75 million after an eleven years of monopolistic business of being the sole beneficiary of the Nigerias bilateral air services agreement. Therefore it appears that Richard Branson did very good business in Nigeria and he exited as an investor but not as a market participant since Virgin Atlantic, his parent company still operates along the same routes plied by the defunct Virgin Nigeria. The problem of the Bilateral Air services agreement and the issue of National flag carrier were to constitute the problem that would lead to another round of diplomatic row between Nigeria and Britain after the exit of Virgin Nigeria. It must be noted that even though Jimoh ibrahims Air Nigeria became the successor to the Nigeria Airways and therefore had the benefit of being the official national flag carrier of Nigeria, the airline could not maximize the business opportunities due to technical and internal human resource problems. As a result, Another Nigerian airline, Arik was to become the sole user of the landing slots available under the British-Nigeria bilateral air services. At this juncture, it is necessary to examine the types of aviation agreements and what constitutes a bilateral air service agreement. Nigeria at independence inherited several treaties agreed to on her behalf by the British government and bilateral air travel or aeronautical agreements are some of them. The table below shows the bilateral aeronautical agreements entered into by the British government on behalf of Nigeria: Table 3: Bilateral Aeronautical agreements agreed to by the British government on behalf of Nigeria S/ Signing parties n Type of Place of Year/Da Description Agreement agreement te of Agreem

United States of Air services Bermuda America ageement

ent 1946

United Kingdom Air Services Lisbon and Portugal agreement

United Kingdom and the Provisional Government of French Republic United Kingdom and Republic of Italy

Air Transport London and services agreement

Air services

Rome

United Kingdom Air services and Belgium

Under this agreement, the Government of the United Kingdom granted traffic rights to the air carriers of the United States in some of her territories including Nigeria th For air services 6 Decemb traversing and er 1945 British Portuguese territories th Relating to air 28 Februar transport between British y 1946 and French territories th Relating to air 25 services June between their 1948 respective territories th 8 May For air services between and 1951 beyond thier territories, 8th May 1951.It include traffic rights through Kabo on its route to Leopoldville in Congo

United Kingdom Aeronautical and Italy Agreement concerning cargo restrictions United Kingdom Agreements and the United regulating States personnel licensing

Rome

Regarding the 24th of October carriage dangerous 1951 goods in aircraft th 5 May Concerning the issuance by one 1935 country of licences to nationals of the other country authorizing them to pilot civil aircraft

Source:

Bilateral Air Service Agreements are the type of aeronautical agreements in which two countries agree to provide mutually advantageous landing rights and commercial air transports services to flag carriers and private airlines registered in their respective countries37. It must be noted that in spite of what the Nigerian media had been reporting on the Bilateral Air Service Agreement [BASA] between Nigeria and United Kingdom, Nigeria does not have a formal BASA with the United Kingdom. According to odubayo, No formal bilateral air services agreement has been entered into between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, nevertheless there are a number of commercial agreements between Nigeria Airways and the British Overseas Airways Corporation. In pursuance of these commercial agreements, traffic and revenue on the Lagos-London route has built up tremendously over the last few years to the mutual advantage of both airlines38. It must noted that the British Overseas Airways Corporation is a subsidiary of the British Airways that has since been merged with the parent

company. Therefore it can be summarily said that there is no BASA between Nigeria and Britain and yet the issue of BASA was to become the source of furor after the exit of Virgin Nigeria. In October 2011, following series of complaints from the designated flag carrier, Arik Air, the Ministry of Aviation slashed the flight frequencies[the number of times permitted for an airline to land and take off from an airport] of the British Airways from 14 to 1039. It must be noted that under the commercial agreement mentioned earlier, both the British Airways and the Nigeria Airways[and its successor companies] could each have access to 21 flight frequencies per week in the airports in their respective territories. It must be noted that while British Airways had always used its 14 frequencies, the remaining 7 became available for use for Virgin Atlantic after its exit from Nigeria40. Consequently, British carriers, with the assistance of the British Airways Authority maximized the business opportunity. This was not so with the Nigerian side because Arik Air could only reciprocally use 12[seven for lagos-London and five for Abuja-London] out of the 21 slots available with nine slots remaining unused41. This shortage, no doubt led to increased demand beyond the available capacity. In the case of Arik Air, the airline was also unable to enjoy all of the seven slots it was supposed to use on the Lagos-London route. This was because when the company applied for the landing slot to London Heathrow, the British Airways Authority responded that even though the Nigerian company had the right to enjoy the landing slot, there are no landing slot available at the Heathrow Airport and that the company can make use of other Airports like Stanstead or Gatwick42. This consequently made Arik to approach a private company in Britain, British Midlands International Limited, to rent landing slots in 200943. According to the Chairman of Arik, Sir Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, the airline paid an initial deposit of 600,000 while it paid

52,250,000 monthly to BMI and after the expiration of that, BMI increased it from 52,250,000 monthly to 90 million per month and that when the airline tried to negotiate the amount, the company refused to shift ground. According to himby the time I discussed with the secretary of the Transport Ministry about our ordeals, that w e are not supposed to get slots from a private organization, since its BASA, he said it was his duty to protect the British carrier and that Nigeria should protect us, I walked out of the place dejected. I came to Nigeria and reported to the Ministry44. As a result of the Federal governments retaliatory action on the side of Arik, the British Airways Authority restored the landing slots to Heathrow Airport to Arik Air. This was not, however, to be the end of diplomatic row between Nigeria and Britain in the Aviation industry. As this study as mentioned earlier, the problem of a single Nigerian airline reciprocating the BASA on the London-Lagos route had left nine landing slots to be remain unsused by Nigerian carriers as there were no other airline available to fill the slot in the short-term. This had contributed to increased demand by customers and the two British compaies, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic consequently took advantage of the demand situation. Invariably, the British companies, especially the British Airways creamed off more revenue by charging higher fares on the Lagos-London route[which is the most lucrative of all the air routes] than it charged on the Accra[Ghana]-London route and other locations in West Africa45. The crises on the discriminatory air fare started in the final days of 2011. The Minister of Aviation, Princess Oduah had wondered why British Airways should ask Nigerians to pay over $10,000 for a first class ticket to fly 5 hours 45 mins to London, while his Ghanaian counterpart is paying less than half of that amount to fly 6hrs 45mins to the same destination from Accra. According to her we are seriously concerned and worried by the reluctance to restore parity

within the region by the foreign airlines. They have been using all kinds of delay tactics, this is unacceptable and will no longer be tolerated. Nigerian passengers do not deserve this kind of exploitation and we are willing and ready to stand up for their rights. In the interim, we encourage Nigerian travellers to avail themselves of other competitive alternatives while we try try to address and resolve this issue once and for all46. The Federal government through the aviation ministry later issued an ultimatum in April 2012 to British Airways and Virgin Atlantic and other foreign airlines to eliminate the fare disparity or face been banned from operating in Nigeria. The ministers ultimatum drew the response of the British High Commission in Abuja, whose spokesman warned that any ban on particularly the two British carriers would erode the bilateral relations between Nigeria and Britain47. This was followed by a declaration by the Deputy High Commissioner, Giles Lever, that the federal government had no legal rights to ban foreign airlines, arguing that the airlines were private enterprises, which operations were determined by market forces48. The tension that followed the federal governments request for elimination of fare disparity by foreign airlines caused the intervention of its British counterpart, which set up a negotiation team to discuss with the Nigerian authorities. It must be noted that even though the British government and the affected airlines engaged the Nigerian government throughout the crises, there was little in the shifting of grounds on the part of the airlines and the position of the British government. This was largely because the airlines maintained that if the Nigerian government should adopt an open skies policy, more airlines would operate in Nigeria than the existing situation and the prices would naturally fall. In the end, all that Nigeria got were promises to reduce the fares charged.

ENDNOTES 1. Oluleye J.J., Military Leadership in Nigeria 1966-1979 (oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990) pp203-205 2. Ibid p251 3. Government of the Federation of Nigeria National Development Plan 19621968 (Lagos: Federal Ministry of Economic Development, 1961) 4. Abegunrin, O Nigerian Foreign Policy under the Military Rule 1966-1999 (Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003) pp168-170 5. Ibid. 6. Nwachukwu L.A and Uzoigwe G.N Troubled Journey : Nigeria Since the Civil War (Maryland: University Press of America, 2004) p 66 7. Abegunrin, O Nigerian Foreign Policy under the Military Rule 1966-1999 p 63 8. Ibid. 72 9. Nwachukwu L.A and Uzoigwe G.N Troubled Journey : Nigeria Since the Civil War p. 72 10. The interest rate is the London Interbank offer Rate [LIBOR], an average interest rate estimated by the leading banks in London. It is the primary interest benchmark for the short-term interest around the world and it is set by the British Bankers Association. LIBOR www.wikipedia.org accessed on 22nd March 2013 11.Nwachukwu L.A and Uzoigwe G.N Troubled Journey : Nigeria Since the Civil War pp73-74 12.Oluleye J.J., Military Leadership in Nigeria 1966-1979 p 69 13. Madura, J., International Financial Management (Stamford: Cengage Learning, 2010) pp 581-583

14.Yergin, D., The Prize: The Epic Quest For Oil, Money and Power (NewYork: Simon and Schuster, 1991) pp 425-466 15.According to David G. Bevan, Paul Collier and Jan Gunning, The pressures for public expenditure could be accommodated without a budget deficit only while revenue was rising rapidly. The 1981 budget was expansionary, but more telling was the budget of 1982. By this time the second oil boom had clearly ended, the pumping rate having been sharply reduced after March 1981 in an attempt to defend prices. As a result, the budget had already run into massive deficit during the second half of 1981. Government indebtedness to the financial sector rose from N2.3billion in June 1981 to N6.8billion by February 1982. Yet in the 1982 budget, the estimates for current expenditures were almost double their 1981 level. The pressures for continued expenditures growth were evidently overwhelming. In the absence of a domestic bond market, the decision by default to run a budget deficit could be financed only be an inflation was perceived as undesirable and a government task force endorsed the policy of moderating it by means of exchange rate appreciation. The government chose instead to borrow abroad through syndicated loans for specific projects. External debt, which had been $2.7 billion in 1978, was $14.4 billion by the end of 1983. The participants in this scramble for debt included the State governments, which responsible for $2 billion of the total. After 1979, they had been permitted to borrow abroad on their own benefit. This move is again consitentt with our characterization of the NPN government as consortium of regional baronies. Both states and Federal governments displayed the same degree of financial irresponsibility, generated by the free-rider problem that characterized baronial politics. By April 1982, a foreign exchange crisis existed and during the year, the final IMF entitlement was drawn. By the end

of the year, aggravated by the Mexican debt crises, Nigeria had become quantity rationed in the world credit market. In just three years the public sector had so inflicted expenditure that the country had passed through the phases of revenue surplus, reserve depletion, ad foreign borrowing. For more see Bevan, Collier and Gunning The Political Economy of Poverty and Growth, Equity and Growth: Nigeria and Indonesia (Washington DC: World Bank Publications, 1999) pp92-93 16. Gile Smith, 17.British 18.Reinhart, C.M and Rogoff K.S. This Time is Different:Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton: Princeton Univeristy Press, 2009) pp54-65 19.Boughton J.M., The IMF and the Silent Revolution: Global Finance and Development in the 1980s (Washington: International Monetary Fund, 2000) pp. 128-132 20.Martinez E and Garcia A., What is neoliberalism www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id-376 accessed 13th February 2013 21.Robbins, R.H Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1999) p 100 22.Nwachukwu L.A and Uzoigwe G.N Troubled Journey : Nigeria Since the Civil War pp87-88 23. Nigerian Military Junta promises debt repayment Gladstone Times 4 January,1984 p 34 24. Ibid. 25.Abegunrin, O Nigerian Foreign Policy under the Military Rule 1966-1999 p 89 26.Ibid. 27.Ibid.

28.S.F Folarin, National Role Conceptions and Nigeras African policy 1985 2007 ( Unpublished Ph.d Thesis submitted to the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Covenant University, Sango-otta, 2010) pp.56-59 29.Ibid. 30.Ibid. 31.This is a result of the authors review of the Nigerian bureau of Statistics annual foreign trade statistical figures from 1979 to 2011. 32.The privatization of Kenya Airways has been seen as model case of the privatization of a national flag carrier in the sub-saharan Africa. For more see Oyesieke, S., Kenya Airways: A Case study of Privatization (Nairobi: Africa Economic Research Consortium, 2002) 33.Interview: Captain Dapo Olumide, 56 years, former Managing director of Virgin Nigeria. interviewed at his office at Southwest ikoyi on 18th march 2013. 34.Ibid. 35. Adeniran, B., Nigeria Politicians are dream killers, we will never do business again in Nigeria-Richard Branson www.dailypost.com.ng July 19 2012 accessed on 17th February 2013 36.Interview: Captain Dapo Olumide 37.Odubayo, O.W Air Transport Bilaterals of Nigeria Unpublished Masters of Law dissertation submitted to the Institute of Air and Space Law, Mcgill University, 1968 38.Ibid. p 23 39.Eze, C., FG Slashes BAs Flight to Nigeria Thisday 03 November 2011 p.12 40.Interview: Captain Dapo Olumide

41.Williams Sade Nigeria/UK BASA discrepancy, Arik Air pays i.4 million pounds to private company Businessday 03 Novemeber 2011 p 16 42.Ibid. 43.Ibid. 44.Ibid. 45.Interview: Captain Dapo Olumide 46.Okubenji, E FG issues ultimatum to to Foreign airlines

www.dailytimes.com.ng/articles/foreignairlines accessed on 25 February 2013 47.Ajayi Rotimi and Ehigiator, K FG/B.A Face-off: Cameron Writes Jonathan Vanguard 9th November, 2011 p.16 48.Ibid.

CHAPTER FOUR: BILATERAL CULTURAL RELATIONS 4.1 Introduction This chapter examines the bilateral cultural relations that exist between Nigeria and Britain since 1960. It would be shown that despite the fact that the cultural relations provide one of the most enduring aspect of the bilateral relations, there are still aspects of the colonial umbilical cord that binds Nigeria with Britain and which often exploited by the former colonial power. 4.1 Festac 77 and the Controversy of the Looted artefacts Cultural relations to Britain are a continuation of political and economic relations. Nowhere was this demonstrated than in the issue of the FESTAC 77 and the controversy generated by the festivals emblem. The second Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture in 1977 was conceived as a cultural renaissance aimed at celebrating African history, culture, values and civilization. The festival, hosted by the Nigerian government in Lagos, provided an unusual forum that brought to light the diverse contributions of Black and African peoples to the universal currents of progressive thought and arts. It also provided an opportunity for recounting the achievements of African ancestors, contemporaries and their invaluable contributions to the enrichment of the worlds thought and ideas. Therefore due to the importance that the Nigerian government attached to the festival, the mask of Queen idia was adopted as the official emblem of the festival1. The original Queen idia mask was part of the more than 5000 works of art that was looted by men and officers of the British Army that participated in the Benin punitive massacre of 19872. The British officers looted several works of art from Benin, which was then carted off to Britain. Wole Soyinka, in his autobiography recalled that:

A famous ivory mask from Benin, exquisitely carved and detailed, remained safely ensconced in the vast labyrinths of the British Museum in London. It had been looted in the equally famous sacking of Benin Kingdom by a British expeditionary force in the late nineteenth century, launched in reprisal for an earlier humiliating encounter between a Captain Phillips and King Overawhen, the paramount ruler of the Benin Kingdom, whose ancestry, one line of legend insists, was none other than Yoruba! The Phillips expedition had insisted on being received by the king during one of his most sacred retreats, when the Oba was not permitted to see any strangers. His Majestys Britannic servants were not to be denied, however, and they forced their way into the city, with gruesome consequences. Such insolence was not to be countenanced! Orders were issued to mount a punitive expedition and they were carried out with equally gruesome efficiency. Numerous treasures, the spoils of war were shipped back to England- to offset the cost of war, the British dispatches stated with admirable candor. Among them was the ivory mask, allegedly the head of a Benin princess3.

The Queen Idia mask that was adopted as the symbol of the festival reminds of the cultural richness of the African past. The Nigerian government requested to loan the mask from the British government for the purpose of the Festival and the British government requested for an Insurance premium of 2 million pounds in case the mask was lost or was not returned to Britain4. The dramatic irony of the whole exchange was not lost on several Nigerians due to the fact that the mask, as an artifact was part of the stolen treasures of Nigeria, a reminder of the sordid enterprise of British colonialism. In any case, the British government decided not to release the mask, even after the Nigerian government had agreed to pay money if the mask was not returned to the British museum5. This situation caused a public outcry in Nigeria and several Nigerian scholars criticized Britain. According to Oshifodunrin, the British government adopted a yes we stole; so we own it attitude on the mask in particular and all the looted works of art that are found in the British museum in general6. The picture below shows the Queen Idia mask that is available in the British Museum, London.

Plate 4.1 The Queen idia Mask

Source: Opoku Kwame Analysis of British Museum de-accession policy www.afrikanet.info accessed 17th March 2013 4.2 Bilateral English Language Relations Located in the easternmost corner of West Africa, Nigeria had been described to be representative of the African fact of life, in terms of regional physical variations, cultural and language diversity and of course colonial experience. The colonial experience created language problem because the language of the colonizers became a policy instrument in the hands of the colonizer for achieving their

economic objective. This largely contributed to the official status enjoyed by English language in Nigeria and the inferiority which most speakers of indigenous languages have viz-a-viz English. Another explanation that can be advanced for the sustenance of English language in Nigeria is the Lingusitic Imperialism argument. Phillipson defines English linguistic imperialism as the dominance asserted and retained by the establishment and continuous reconstitution of structural and cultural inequalities between English and other languages 7. Phillipson's theory critiques the historic spread of English as an international language and that language's continued dominance, particularly in postcolonial settings such as India, Pakistan, Kenya and Nigeria. His theory draws mainly on Johan Galtungs Imperialism theory, Antonio Gramsci social theory, and in

particular on his notion of cultural Hegemony. A central theme of Phillipson's theory is the complex hegemonic processes which, he asserts, continue to sustain the pre-eminence of English in the world today. His book analyzes the British Councils use of rhetoric to promote English, and discusses key tenets of English applied lingusitic and English-language-teaching methodology. These tenets hold that:

English is best taught monolingually ("the monolingual fallacy"); the ideal teacher is a native speaker ("the native-speaker fallacy"); the earlier English is taught, the better the results ("the early-start fallacy"); the more English is taught, the better the results ("the maximum-exposure fallacy");

if other languages are used much, standards of English will drop ("the subtractive fallacy").

According to Phillipson8, those who promote Englishorganizations such as the British Council, the IMF and the World Bank, and individuals such as operators of English-language schoolsuse three types of argument:

Intrinsic arguments describe the English language as providential, rich, noble and interesting. Such arguments tend to assert what English is and what other languages are not.

Extrinsic arguments point out that English is well-established: that it has many speakers, and that there are trained teachers and a wealth of teaching material.

Functional arguments emphasize the usefulness of English as a gateway to the world.

Other arguments for English are


its economic utility: it enables people to operate technology; its ideological function: it stands for modernity; its status as symbol for material advance and efficiency.

Another issue in Phillipson's work is Linguicism"9the type of prejudice that leads to endangered languages becoming extinct or losing their local eminence due to the rise and competing prominence of English. At various times, especially in colonial settings or where a dominant culture has sought to unify a region under its control, a similar phenomenon has arisen. Thus according to him, in the Far east, Africa and South America, regional languages have been or are being coercively replaced or marginalized by the language of a dominant culture. The arguments advanced by Philipson above appear valid when the Bilateral relations between Nigeria and Britain is examined at the level of Language. For

one thing, the use of English as Official Language in Nigeria had helped to make the political and economic relations between the two countries because since language facilitate understanding, a common language of English, naturally makes Nigeria and Britain to understand each other perfectly. Furthermore, the British government had been unrelenting in promoting British cultaural values, education and ideals through the English language. To Britain, English language is not just a medium of communication but an export commodity that has business implications. Deborah Cameron in her study has identified how English language has become a globally marketable commodity. As such, the writer showed that the perceived value of English language has created the English Language Teaching[ELT] industry10. It appears that the perception of the value of English Language is line with Philipsons argument that English is associated with the power centres and it is actively but subtly promoted. It is however unclear whether this promotion has a direct economic objective but what is obvious is that there is a bilateral English language relations between Nigeria and Britain which is sustained and venerated by the British government and its organizations. One of such organizations is the British Council in Nigeria. The British Council in Nigeria is one of the branches of the British Council that has presence in 53 countries across the globe. The British Council is a British Organization that focuses on international education and cultural opportunities. The Organization is registered as charity in the United Kingdom, it generated over one billion pounds in revenue in the year 2013. It must be noted the sole work of the council is centered around its cultural marketing mandate. In fact the British Council was inspired by Sir Reginald Leeper who recognized the importance of cultural propaganda in promoting British interests. Furthermore the fact that the British Council is supervised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office [FCO] shows that

the British Council and all its country offices are tools of promoting British interests. The British Council in Nigeria provides what can be termed soft diplomacy for the British government. This is in the sense that the Councils activities are more publicly visible and apolitical in nature. As a result, the British Council sees itself as a partner in development with the people of Nigeria through the permission of the government11. Based on this, the British Council in Nigeria could be regarded as the coordinating agency for the British cultural relations at the people level in Nigeria. An examination of the activities of the British Council in Nigeria shows that its central focus remains the members of the middle and upper class in particular and its latent objective is the creation of an impressive image of the British culture, language, society and government institutions12. This could however be achieved through the active promotion of the British standard English and other supporting activities. According to an interview with an official of the Council, the British Councils work in the area of cultural relations is the key to sustaining the cordial relationship between Nigeria and the United Kingdom13. Consequently, the Council achieves its mandate in Nigeria through the promotion of English language based creative arts and industry in Nigeria. This is done the sponsoring activities in the areas of film-making, theatre arts, fine-arts, music and dance to mention but a few. In fact, the 2001 staging of Wole Soyinkas play King Baabu was sponsored by the British Council14. The council also provides advice, entry aids and examination centres into British universities.

It is in the area of language development that British councils activities made both economic and political impacts. The British Council used to have English language teaching centres in Nigeria but the centres have since been closed. The reason was that, an online delivery of the courses is both cost-effective and capable guaranteeing wider reach. However, the British Council coordinates in Nigeria the examination and sale of textbooks for the English Language Standardised tests[ Test of English as a Foreign Langauge-TOEFL] that is provided globally by the International English Language Teaching Service[IELTS]. According to the Nigerian IELTS desk officer at the Falomo, Ikoyi British Council office, an average of six thousand Nigerians take the TOEFL and other IELTS examinations annually since 200515. Beyond the economic value of English language, the latent objective of the British Councils English language promotion is l argely the creation of a binding cultural relationship between the educated middle and upper class in Nigeria. This is a subtle strategy of sustaining the ties that bind Nigeria and Britain together. In the end, it is still business to Britain. 4.3 The Commonwealth Games The Commonwealth games is sporting and cultural competition that has as participants, members of the Commonwealth Organization. As such, the commonwealth games has the latent function of sustaining the relations between members of the Commonwealth as a result of shared history, official language, legal and administrative systems among others. The game is also a tool for sustaining the relationship between Britain and its former colonies. Consequently, the games constitute a soft diplomacy tool and it serves the purpose of reaching out to the governments and publics of the former colonies in a apolitical environment.

The end result is the creation of salutary impression about British international relations and the history of its former status as an Empire. Nigeria has participated at eleven Commonwealth Games since 1950. However, it was not possible to keep political issues out of the games because Nigeria boycotted the games in 1962 and 1978 over New Zealands policies that Nigerian leaders saw as being in support of apartheid in South Africa. Nigeria did not also attend the 1998 games because the country had been suspended in 1995 by the Organization due to the abuse of citizens fundamental human rights by the Military government of General Sanni Abacha. The table below shows the participation of Nigeria in the Commonwealth Games since 1950: Table 4.1 Participation of Nigeria in the Commonwealth Games since 1950
Games 1950 Auckland 1954 Vancouver 1958 Cardiff 1962 Perth 1966 Kingston 1970 Edinburgh 1974 Christchurch 1978 Edmonton 1982 Brisbane 1986 Edinburgh 1990 Auckland 1994 Victoria 1998 Kuala Lumpur 2002 Manchester 2006 Melbourne Total Gold 0 1 0 3 2 3 5 5 11 5 4 39 Silver Bronze 1 0 3 3 1 1 did not attend 4 3 0 0 3 4 did not attend 0 8 did not attend 13 7 13 13 did not attend 3 11 6 7 47 57 Total 1 7 2 10 2 10 13 25 37 19 17 143

Source: Authors verification of the records at the Nigerian Sports Commission, Lagos Annex office, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos

4.4 Bilateral Educational Relations Not unlike other aspects of the British cultural relations, the educational relations is largely tilted in the favour of Britain. It must be noted that British educational relations with Nigeria is as old as the British contact with Nigeria. However since independence, several Nigerians have made use of educational opportunities in the United kingdom. For instance, most of the Nigerian nationalists like Obafemi Awolowo, Aminu kano, Tafawa Balewa, H.O Davies, Teslim elias among others had stints in the British Educational institutions. As a result of this aspect of educational history, most Nigerians view the possession of a British university degree with something like pride. In fact the possession of a bachelor and masters degree from the University of Oxford by the Biafran warlord, Odumegwu Ojukwu, was a reference point by foreign journalists during the civil war and source of pride for most the Ibos. It must be noted that since the late nineties, the number of Nigerians studying in the United kingdom has been increasing. According to an a official of the British consulate, 13 thousand student visas were issued to Nigerians between 2009 and 201116. At the moment, about twenty two thousand Nigerians are studying in the United Kingdom. This trend had made the British educational industry to project that by 2015, more than thirty thousand Nigerians would be studying in the United kingdom. According Tom Iain Stewart, this figure would represent 7 percent of the United Kingdoms university population17. It must be noted that higher education to the United Kingdom is big business. According to an industry survey, the international students market was worth 10 billion pounds and a sizable amount of that money is from Nigerian students

patronage18. This naturally explains why several British universities have opened country offices in Nigeria. According to Mr.majekodunmi, an official at the Nigerian office of University of East London, the international exposure afforded by acquiring a British university degree, in addition to declining standard of education in Nigeria had created the huge demand for British education19. It must be noted, however that more than the declining standard of education in Nigeria, it is the rising number of middle class in Nigeria that is largely contributing to the huge demand for british education. In fact most parents believe that if they can afford to pay around 6 million naira to educated their child at a Nigerian private university, expending another 3 million for a British masters degree is not much. Due to the aforementioned factors, the British Council in Nigeria had responded to the new demand by coordinating the activities of the United Kingdoms universities in Nigeria. For instance, education in Uk is created as brand by the British Council to sell all the British University as a group. Furthermore, the organization provides examination writing centres, fees payment for the Universities in addition to carrying out a yearly exhibition of University education in the United Kingdom. At these exhibitions, Nigerian students seeking admission have the opportunity to meet top admission officers from the United Kingdom who can offer on the spot admissions to students. Lastly, the British Council works synergistically with the British High Commission for the purpose of processing of students visas and travel requirements so as to facilitate ease of movement to the United Kingdom. 4.5 Chapter Conclusion

This chapter has examined the patterns of cultural relations between Nigeria and Britain. Not unlike other aspects of the bilateral relations, the cultural relations, from the British perspective is an arena of soft diplomacy. This soft diplomacy is used to tremendous advantage by the British government and agencies to sustain the political and economic relations. In other words, cultural relations to the British, is a foreign policy instrument which Britain uses in its changing but constant objective of securing its economic advantages that been created since the days of colonialism. The refusal to part with the Queen Idia mask can thus be interpreted as a case of the permanence of political and economic interests despite the changes in the status of one of the actors from a colony to a sovereign state.

ENDNOTES 1. Federal Government of Nigeria Nigeria Gift to UNESCO

www.unesco.org/background-festacmask.pdf accessed 18th March 2013 2. Igbinedion, D., Matters Arising from the British Expedition Massacre of the Binis and Plunder of Benin Artworks in 1897 www.dawodu.com/igbinedion3.htm accessed 18th March 2013. Igbinedion quoted the letter of request for permit sent by the leader of the Expedition to the British Government in 1897:
The whole of the English merchants represented on the river have petitioned the government for aid to enable them to keep their factories (trading posts) open, and last but not least, the revenues of this Protectorate are suffering ... I am certain that there is only one remedy. That is to depose the King of Benin ... I am convinced that pacific measures are now quite useless, and that the time has now come to remove the obstruction ... I do not anticipate any serious resistance from the people of the country - there is every reason to believe that they would be glad to get rid of their King - but in order to obviate any danger, I wish to take up sufficient armed force ... I would add that I have reason to hope that sufficient ivory may be found in the King's house to pay the expenses incurred.

3. Soyinka, W You Must Set Forth at Dawn: A Memoir (Ibadan: Bookcraft, 2007) p 126 4. Opoku, K Analysis of British Museum de-accession policy www.afrikanet.info accessed on 18th march 2013 5. Ibid. 6. Interview: Mr. Adesegun Oshifodunrin, Art Historian, 59 yearsold. Interviewed at his office at Mokola Ibadan on 24th march 2013 7. Phillipson, R Linguistic Imperialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) p.185

8. Ibid. pp 34-35 9. Ibid. 10.Deborah Cameron Globalization of English Language in Block, David and Cameron, Deborah [eds] Globalization and language Teaching (London: Routledge, 2002) pp 207-256 11.Interview: Ms. Nancy nduka, customer relations officer at British Council Nigeria, late 30s. Interviewed at the Falomo office of British Council on 12nd march 2013. 12.Ibid. 13.Interview: Mr. Anthony idemudia, 46 years old. Interviewed at the British Council office, Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos on 12th March 2013 14.Balogun, Sola Nigeria: Soyinka Opposes Sale of National Theatre The Guardian 27 July 2001, p 35 15.Interview: Mr. Sola Odubiyi, IELTS desk officer at the British Council Nigeria., 42 years. Interviewed at British Council Office at Falomo Ikoyi, 12th march 2013 16.Interview: Mrs. Ifeanyi Oladapo, member of staff at the British Consulate, 37 years. Interviewed at British Consulate, Victoria Island, Lagos on 11th March 2013 17.Interview: Mr. Tom Iain Stewart, Assistant Director of International Office, London Metropolitan University, 45 years. Interviewed at the British Higher Education fair organized by British council Nigeria on 15th January 2013 18. Interview: Mr. Majekodunmi, Education Councellor, University of East London, Nigeria office, 36 years. Interviewed at British Canadian International Education Limited, Victoria Island Lagos on 14th March 2013

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION 5.1 Summary The central purpose of this study is the accounting for the patterns of NigeriaBritain Relations between since Nigerias independence. The first chapter showed that Nigerias relations with Britain was largely influenced by its previous

relationship as a former British colony. Consequently, the patterns of the early post-independence Britain-Nigeria relations demonstrated the long-term planning ability of the British government in its relations with former colonies. The second chapter found out that the relations between Nigeria and Britain had been characterized by highs and lows with Britain showing readiness to do away with the policy of one Nigeria as long as this would serve her interests. The chapter also showed that in the Bilateral relations, Britain pursued its foreign policy with consummate skill and there is harmony between its economic and political interests and the way it pursues them. This is in direct contrast to the lack of harmony between Nigerias economic and foreign policies during the early post independence period. The third chapter examined the patterns of bilateral economic relations with an emphasis on the period of 1983 to 1999. The reasons for these were the problems of foreign debt that the Nigeria incurred and the diplomacies of debt rescheduling that Nigeria embarked upon. The chapter showed that much of the Nigerian foreign debt were only incurred on wasteful projects but that based on sound business skills and cohesion between corporate and official sectors, Britain gained from Nigerias profligacy by making large amount exports to Nigeria and also funneling loans to Nigeria[through the British Banks] at profitable interest rates. In the end,

Nigerias loss is British gains. The case study of the aviation industry showed the dexterity of British corporate citizens with the cooperation and support of British government in the identification of favourable loop holes in trade agreements and the general operational laxity on the part of Nigeria which they could convert to economic advantage at the detriment of Nigeria. The third chapter examined the patterns of cultural relations between the two countries. The study found out that the cultural relations are very deep and are in the area of language, education and the arts. The study found the same type strategic maneuvering by Britain in its dealing with Nigeria. In fact issues of English language and education are nothing but exportable commodities that Britain packages to be sold at good price to Nigerians. Institutions like the British Council walk in tandem with the British High Commission to realize the strategic goal of Britain. The strategic goal of British cultural relations appears to be the usage of cultural items like language, education and other intangible items to use as common ground between Nigeria and Britain and which would be deployed to soften grounds anytime there are strains in the bilateral relations. Consequently, it appears Britain has studied Nigeria very well and knows the country that it created very well than Nigerians and this gives it confidence that it can always get away with anything it does in other to achieve its objective. In fact during the height of the British Airways crises in 2011, the British Airways always referred to its 75 years of uninterrupted operation in Nigeria!

5.3 Conclusion

From the foregoing this study has found out that the British interest in Nigeria has always been determined by its economic interest, just the way it was during the colonial period. Hence, the cultural and political relations are directed towards achieving the British mission in Nigeria. Britain showed dexterity and skill in its relations with Nigeria and there is high degree of coordination between the official Britain and the Corporate Britain. However in the case of Nigeria, the country is not proactive in its relations and its British policy can either be said to be nonexistent or can be said to be based on cheap emotional drives of the Nigerian foreign policy elite ad bureaucrats. What is obvious is that Nigeria showed lack of strategic planning and maneuverings that Britain deployed and this was dramatized with the disappointment the Nigerian government felt when Britain refused to loan the Idia Mask it stole from Benin in 1897 for use during the FESTAC 77. This study finds no wrong in another country pursuing its national interest even it would be at the detriment of the other partner. This is because the purpose of international relations is the securing of advantages. In other words, Nigerian can continue to scream imperialism and all other defeating slogans or take a realistic look at its international relations so as to see where other countries are using its lack of internal cohesion, its rascality and profligacy to feather their own nest. 5.5 Recommendation This study hereby makes the following recommendation: Nigerian leaders should see international relations as business and therefore deploy strategic planning to it. Nigeria should create a conducive economy at home and eliminate all form of corruption because it is this lack of conducive economy at home and

corruption that makes companies from other countries to use our weakness to their advantage. Nigerian government should provide support to Nigerian companies and institutions so that the gap between the government and the corporate sector would be eliminated. Foreign governments and companies would respect Nigerian corporate citizens only when they realize that Nigerian companies have the backing of their government. In fact this is lesson of British colonialism: British government providing official supports to its private companies like the Royal Niger Company so as to exploit Nigeria. There is nothing wrong with this as long as we dont hold down our own companies and citizens to do the same to other countries. International relations mean business.

BIBLIOGRAPHY PRIMARY SOURCES 1. Interview

Professor Akinjide Osuntokun, Professor at the Department of History and Strategic Studies, Redeemers University, Mowe, 68years, Captain Dapo Olumide, 56 years, former Managing director of Virgin Nigeria. interviewed at his office at Southwest ikoyi Mr. Adesegun Oshifodunrin, Art Historian, 59 yearsold. Interviewed at his office at Mokola Ibadan Ms. Nancy nduka, customer relations officer at British Council Nigeria, late 30s. Interviewed at the Falomo office of British Council Mr. Anthony idemudia, 46 years old. Interviewed at the British Council office, Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos Mr. Tom Iain Stewart, Assistant Director of International Office, London Metropolitan University, 45 years. Interviewed at the British Higher Education fair organized by British council Nigeria Mr. Majekodunmi, Education Councellor, University of East London, Nigeria office, 36 years. Interviewed at British Canadian International Education Limited, Victoria Island Lagos Dr. Ogaba oche, Research Fellow, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island Lagos.

2. Archival Materials

Memorandum from the British High Commissioner(Lagos) to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 6th September 1966 PRO/PREM/13/1040 Memorandum from the British High Commissioner(Lagos) to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 4th December 1971 PRO/FCO/36/1799, 3 Memorandum from the British High Commissioner to Sir Morris James of the Commonwealth Office 1st October 1966 PRO/PREM/13/1041 Rhodesian Sanctions: Further Inquiry Cabinet Paper 9th October 1978 (CP/28/98) South Africa. Plessey Radar Contract: Possible Breach of United Nations Arms Embargo August 01- September 10 1979 (PRO/PREM/19/122) British High Commissioner in Nigeria to the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs, 7th July 1967 (PRO/FO/25/232, Fo 32) Edward Heath Sales of Arms to South Africa Memorandum to the Cabinet (CAB/129/154/122) Memorandum from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the British High Commission in Lagos Rhodesia 24 November 1971 (PRO/FCO/36/793) Memorandum from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the British High Commission in Lagos Rhodesia 24 November 1971 (PRO/FCO/36/793). Steel to Hetherington Secret Memorandum 30th June 1967 (PRO/FCO/38/11, fo.87) SECONDARY SOURCES 1. Books Abegunrin, Olayiwola, Nigerian Foreign Policy under the Military: 19661999 (Westport: Praeger Publishers, 2003) Ademoyega ,A Why We Struck (Ibadan: Evans Brothers, 1981) Akinyemi, A.B [ed] Nigeria and the World- readings in Nigerian foreign policy foreign policy, (Ibadan: Oxford University Press, 1978)

Aluko Olajide, [ed] The Foreign Policies African States (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1977) Amucheazi,E.C., [ed].,Readings in Social Sciences; Issues in National Development.(Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishers, 1980) Balewa, A Tafawa, MR.PRIME MINISTER, A Selection of Speeches by Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa(Lagos: National Press, 1964) Block, David and Cameron, Deborah [eds] Globalization and language Teaching (London: Routledge, 2002) Boughton J.M., The IMF and the Silent Revolution: Global Finance and Development in the 1980s (Washington: International Monetary Fund, 2000) Cervenka, Z., The Unfinished Quest for African Unity: Africa and OAU (London: Julian Friedman Publishers, 1977) Dike, Kenneth Onwuka.,Trade and Politics in the Niger Delta 1830-1885: An Introduction to the Economic and Political History of Nigeria (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956) Legum Colin, The Congo Disaster (New-York: Penguin Books, 1961) Nabudere, D Penguin,1977) Nwachukwu L.A and Uzoigwe G.N Troubled Journey : Nigeria Since the Civil War (Maryland: University Press of America, 2004) Ochonu, M.E., Colonial Meltdown: Northern Nigeria in the Great Depression (Athens: Ohio University Press,2009) Oluleye J.J., Military Leadership in Nigeria 1966-1979 (oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990) Oyesieke, S., Kenya Airways: A Case study of Privatization (Nairobi: Africa Economic Research Consortium, 2002) The Political Economy of Imperialism (London:

Phillipson, R Linguistic Imperialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) Reinhart, C.M and Rogoff K.S. This Time is Different:Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton: Princeton Univeristy Press, 2009) Robbins, R.H Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1999) Siolun ,Max Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture 1966-1976 (London: Algora publishing, 2009) Soyinka, W You Must Set Forth at Dawn: A Memoir (Ibadan: Bookcraft, 2007) Villafaa, Frank R., Cold War in the Congo: The Confrontation of Cuban Military Forces, 1960-1967 (London: Transaction Publishers, 2012) Yergin, D., The Prize: The Epic Quest For Oil, Money and Power (NewYork: Simon and Schuster, 1991) 2. Academic Journals

Akinsanya, A., The Dikko Affair and Anglo-Nigerian Relations. The International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 3 ,July 1985 Akinyemi,A., The British press and the Nigerian civil war, African Affairs, 71 ,1972 Elaigwu, J., The Nigerian civil war and the Angolan civil war, Journal of Asian and African Studies, 12, 1977 Ogunbadejo, O Nigeria ad the Great Powers: The Impact of the Civil War on Nigerian Foreign Relations Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol.3 July 1978

Tijani , H.IA Reassessment of British Administrative Plans and SocioPolitical Policies in Nigeria Journal of History and Diplomatic Studies Vol.3, 2006 Uche, C.,Oil, British Interest and the Nigerian Civil War Journal of African History, Volume 49, 2008 3. Theses and Dissertations Adigbuo ,E. R, Nigeria's national role conceptions: the case of Namibia, 1975-1990 ( Unpublished Ph.D Thesis submitted to the Universit y of Johanesburg, 2005) Asobie,H. Assisi Domestic Political Structure and Foreign Policy: The Nigerian Experience, 1960:1975.( Unpublished Thesis for Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Economics, University of London, 1977) Folarin ,S.F, National Role Conceptions and Nigeras African policy 19852007 ( Unpublished Ph.d Thesis submitted to the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Covenant University, Sango-otta, 2010) Genova, Ann W., Oil and Nationalism in Nigeria (Unpublished Ph.D Thesis submitted to the Department of History, University of Texas, Austin, 2006) Lawal ,O.A, Britain and Decolonization in Nigeria: 1945-1960

(Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Ibadan, March 1993) Odubayo, O.W Air Transport Bilaterals of Nigeria Unpublished Masters of Law dissertation submitted to the Institute of Air and Space Law, Mcgill University, 1968 4. Newspapers Britain Tries to limit Dikko Affairs effect on Nigeria ties The Christian Science Monitor 17th July 1984 Around the World: Nigeria and Britain Agree to seek better ties NewYork Times September 14th 1984

Eze, C., FG Slashes BAs Flight to Nigeria Thisday 03 November 2011 Ajayi Rotimi and Ehigiator, K FG/B.A Face-off: Cameron Writes Jonathan Vanguard 9th November, 2011 Balogun, Sola Nigeria: Soyinka Opposes Sale of National Theatre The Guardian 27 July 2001 Williams Sade Nigeria/UK BASA discrepancy, Arik Air pays i.4 million pounds to private company Businessday 03 November 2011 5. Internet Materials Federal Government of Nigeria Nigeria Gift to UNESCO www.unesco.org/background-festacmask.pdf accessed 18th March 2013 Igbinedion, D., Matters Arising from the British Expedition Massacre of the Binis and Plunder of Benin Artworks in 1897 www.dawodu.com/igbinedion3.htm accessed 18th March 2013 Adeniran, B., Nigeria Politicians are dream killers, we will never do business again in Nigeria-Richard Branson www.dailypost.com.ng July 19 2012 accessed on 17th February 2013 Opoku, Okubenji, Martinez K E E Analysis FG and of issues Garcia British Museum to What de-accession to Foreign is policy airlines www.afrikanet.info accessed on 18th march 2013 ultimatum A.,

www.dailytimes.com.ng/articles/foreignairlines accessed on 25 February neoliberalism www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id-376 accessed 13th February 2013 LIBOR www.wikipedia.org accessed on 22nd March 2013 Obafemi Awolowo, The Financing of the Nigerian Civil and its Implications for the Economy of the Natoion lecture delivered at the University of Ibadan 16th May, 1970 www.igbofocus.co.uk/The_Biafra accessed on 21 September 201