Executive-Legislature Relations in Foreign Relations: The Case of Nigeria’s 2005 Debt Forgiveness by the Paris Club

Alada, Abdulrasheed (2017)


Nigeria’s external indebtedness dated back to pre-independence period but the debts were not much of a burden on the economy. However, with the oil glut of 1978, things began to change in the direction of accumulated external debts. Following the adverse effect of the debt burden on the country, the new civilian administration that emerged in 1999 was poised to tackle the debt problem headlong. However, the democratic context in Nigeria is such that no arm of government has absolute control over the formulation and implementation of government’s policies; there was the need, therefore, for cooperation between the executive and the legislature on the debt issue. This article examines the role of actors within the executive and legislative arms aimed at securing debt cancellation for the country in 2005. It argues that Nigeria was able to secure debt cancellation due largely to synergy of actions between the executive and legislative institutions, informed by both arms‟ recognition of the impact of the excruciating debt burden on the country. The article concludes that there is need for more institutional cooperation in order to achieve greater prospects for the country’s democratic aspirations.