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Nigeria at the crossroads: Navigating geo-economic shifts in 2024

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Abdulrauf Aliyu

In an era dominated by the intersection of economics and geopolitics, 2024 promises to be a pivotal year defined by key geo-economic trends that will significantly impact nations across the globe. As the world grapples with evolving power dynamics, Nigeria stands at a crucial crossroads, necessitating a keen understanding of these trends and proactive measures to navigate the challenges that lie ahead.

The backdrop of our analysis draws inspiration from a rich tapestry of scholarly works, notably “The Uses and Abuses of Weaponized Interdependence” by Daniel W. Drezner, Henry Farrell, and Abraham L. Newman. This thought-provoking exploration serves as a foundation for unravelling the intricate web of global interdependence, highlighting the delicate balance between cooperation and coercion in the modern world.

Dale C. Copeland’s “Economic Interdependence and War” serves as an essential guide, offering insights into the nuanced relationship between economic ties and the potential for conflict. As Nigeria grapples with its own economic challenges, Copeland’s work prompts reflection on the fine line between economic cooperation and vulnerability to geopolitical pressures.

Nicholas Mulder’s “The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War” underscores the growing prominence of economic tools in shaping global dynamics. As sanctions become a ubiquitous instrument of statecraft, Nigeria must strategize to mitigate risks and safeguard its economic interests on the international stage.

“War by Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft” by Robert D. Blackwill and Jennifer M. Harris serves as a beacon, shedding light on the evolving landscape of geoeconomics. Nigeria must recognize that the battlefield has expanded beyond traditional military theaters, with economic statecraft playing an increasingly pivotal role in shaping outcomes.

Antonia Calibasanu’s “Contemporary Geopolitics and Geoeconomics 2.0” provides a methodological framework for analyzing global trends, offering valuable tools for decision-makers to navigate the complexities of a world in crisis. As Nigeria assesses its position on the global stage, Calibasanu’s insights offer a roadmap for strategic thinking.

“Henry Farrell and Abraham L. Newman’s ‘Underground Empire: How America Weaponized the World Economy'” provides a critical examination of how economic tools can be harnessed to influence global affairs. Nigeria, as a participant in the global economy, must be vigilant against becoming collateral damage in the economic warfare waged by major powers.

Mikael Wigell, Sören Scholvin, and Mika Aaltola’s “Geo-Economics and Power Politics in the 21st Century: The Revival of Economic Statecraft” serves as a capstone, emphasizing the resurgence of economic statecraft in shaping the global order. Nigeria must adapt to this paradigm shift, recognizing the strategic leverage embedded in its economic activities.

Against this backdrop, Nigeria faces a myriad of challenges and opportunities. The first key trend is the weaponization of interdependence, where economic ties can be exploited for strategic gains. As seen in the works of Drezner, Farrell, and Newman, the intricate dance of cooperation and coercion demands a careful evaluation of Nigeria’s economic partnerships. The nation must discern the fine line between economic collaboration and vulnerability to external pressures, ensuring that its interdependence does not compromise its sovereignty.

Economic interdependence, as Copeland highlights, presents both opportunities and risks. Nigeria’s economic diversification efforts become paramount in mitigating vulnerabilities. Strengthening domestic industries and fostering self-sufficiency will enhance resilience against external shocks, ensuring that economic interdependence does not translate into dependence.

The rise of economic sanctions, as discussed by Mulder, introduces a new dimension to global power plays. Nigeria must proactively engage in diplomacy to avoid being caught in the crossfire of economic warfare. Establishing diverse economic partnerships and fostering diplomatic ties will be crucial in building resilience against potential sanctions and safeguarding national interests.

Geoeconomics, as elucidated by Blackwill and Harris, necessitates a comprehensive understanding of economic instruments as tools of statecraft. Nigeria must adeptly wield its economic influence, utilizing trade, investment, and aid strategically to advance its geopolitical objectives. An astute utilization of economic statecraft will enable Nigeria to navigate the complexities of global power dynamics.

Calibasanu’s methodology offers a structured approach for Nigeria to analyze global trends. Implementing a robust analytical framework will empower policymakers to make informed decisions, aligning the nation’s interests with emerging geopolitical and geo-economic realities.

Farrell and Newman’s exploration of how America weaponized the world economy serves as a cautionary tale. Nigeria must be vigilant against undue external influence that may compromise its economic sovereignty. Developing a resilient economic architecture and diversifying economic partners will insulate Nigeria from the risks associated with economic manipulation.

Wigell, Scholvin, and Aaltola’s work on the revival of economic statecraft underscores the need for Nigeria to proactively engage in shaping the global economic order. By leveraging its economic clout responsibly, Nigeria can position itself as a key player in the evolving landscape of geo-economics.

In conclusion, as Nigeria stands at the crossroads of 2024, it must navigate the complex terrain of geo-economic shifts with foresight and resilience. By drawing insights from the works of eminent scholars, the nation can craft a strategic roadmap that safeguards its economic interests, preserves its sovereignty, and positions itself as a formidable player in the global arena. The lessons gleaned from these scholarly works serve as a compass, guiding Nigeria towards a future where economic strength translates into geopolitical influence and stability.

Abdulrauf Aliyu
An economist and Policy Analyst writes from
45 Ashiru Road, U/Dosa New Extension
Kaduna

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