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THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF GOODLUCK JONATHAN'S TRANSFORMATION AGENDA

POLITICAL SCIENCE PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS

Transformation: According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (7th edition), transformation means complete change in appearance or character of something. The Transformation Agenda refers to strengthening government institutions to facilitate effective coordination of fiscal monetary policies and for effective and optimal performance The international system is symbiotic in nature, leading to the notion that no country can
exist as an island. Since no state can avoid relating with others, states must frame their interactions systematically to aid the advancement of national interests in its relations with other
states. Foreign policy is therefore an integral part of the activities of the modern state. A state without foreign policy therefore can be likened to a ship without a sailor (Abdul & Ibrahim,2013).
In order to remain relevant in the international system, a state must articulate its foreign policy in the manner that it captures the state’s national interest. As Eze (2010, p. 79) succinctly
puts it, “every nation’s foreign policy is or should be in service of its national interest.” African-nationalism and Pan-Africanism were two factors that informed foreign policy thinking and orientation at independence and inception of Nigeria’s foreign policy. In underscoring these averments, the foreign policy thrust of the country has been guided by the following: African unity and independence, peaceful settlement of disputes, capacity to exercise
hegemonic influence in the region, non-alignment principle, non-interference in the internalaffairs of states, and economic cooperation and development within the region (Ukwuije, 2015,
p. 110). It is crucial to identify that the approach that guides the formation and execution of foreign policy objectives is dependent on some variables within and outside the state (Odubajo,
2017). These variables can be subsumed under the domestic and external environments of foreign policy. The environment of foreign policy consists of the domestic and external factors,
structures, dynamics and processes that guide the actions of foreign policy actors (Alli, 2010). Gitelson (1980) highlights that some of the major variables that affect the foreign policy choices
of states (especially small or medium powers) include: the domestic situation of the state, the nature of its leadership base, and the state’s foreign policy orientations. The domestic situation of
the Nigerian state is affected by factors such as ethnicity, religious bigotry, communal clashes, civil unrests, and militancy, to mention but a few; while the nature of the state’s foreign policy may be influenced by the personal idiosyncrasies of the individuals that represent the state in the foreign policy-making process. The state’s foreign policy orientation refers to the nature of foreign policy pursued in terms of being dependent or independent, proactive or reactive, bold orconservative. Other variables, according to Babawale (1988) include: the nature of a state’s economy, historical experiences, and the nature of the political society. Specific to the Nigerian foreign policy sphere, Ashiru (2013) identifies a number of factors that have determined the nature of Nigeria’s foreign policy since independence and have formed the basis of the domestic and external environments of Nigeria’s foreign policy. These determinants include: the eruption of multiple power centers in regions and regional economic
groupings such as the European Union (EU) and Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS); formation of the African Union (AU) (formerly known as Organization of AfricanUnity (OAU)); the waves of dictatorships and democratic transitions across Africa and the Middle East; Nigeria’s increasing population; and the continuous existence of domestic andexternal challenges arising from issues like terrorism, climate change, arms proliferation, transnational crimes, oil bunkering, militancy, and migration, among others. A study conducted by Fayomi, Chidozie & Ajayi (2015) submits that the country’s foreign policy efforts have beencountered by an image predicament embedded in domestic crises experienced over the years.

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