Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, is actively pursuing membership in the BRICS group, aiming to assert itself as a significant player on the global economic stage, according to reports by Bloomberg.
Yusuf Tuggar, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, revealed the country’s ambition to join the BRICS club within the next two years. Tuggar emphasized Nigeria’s determination to engage with groups that have clear and constructive objectives.
“Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be, being multiple aligned is in our best interest,” the minister stated.
“We need to belong to groups like BRICS, like the G-20 and all these other ones because if there’s a certain criterion, say the largest countries in terms of population and economy should belong, then why isn’t Nigeria part of it?” he added.
The BRICS group, originally comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, aims to reshape the global economic order and increase its collective economic influence. The group seeks to challenge the longstanding dominance of the West in the world economy.
Recently, BRICS expanded by adding new members, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates. The newly admitted countries would become full members from January 1, 2024, while 40 more countries are said to have registered their interests in joining the bloc.
Nigeria is now expressing its interest in joining this influential group, despite historical ties with the West.
Nigeria’s ties with the West led by the United States have spanned over 63 years, but this relationship in the opinions of many observers has not translated to any substantial benefits for the most populous country in Africa.
It is against this background that many political scientists and economic analysts have called on Nigerian leaders to enlist the country in the forum’s membership to advance its economic interests.
However, contrary to the claim that Nigeria was rejected by the bloc, the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, who represented President Bola Tinubu at the bloc’s 15th summit in Johannesburg said Nigeria had not applied to join the economic bloc.
There is some debate about whether Nigeria has formally applied for BRICS membership in the past. While Vice President Kashim Shettima denied such claims, publicly available information suggests Nigeria has indeed expressed interest in joining BRICS.
The move to join BRICS signifies Nigeria’s strong desire to position itself as a major economic player in Africa and globally.
By seeking membership in this influential group, Nigeria aims to play a more prominent role in shaping international economic policies and challenging the traditional economic order dominated by Western nations.