New World Order, BRICS and Nigeria


By Jerome-Mario Chijioke Utomi

It is pedestrian information that the BRICS economic bloc, one of the leading global voices for more representation of the developing world and the Global South in world affairs, ended a historic three-day summit in South Africa where it addressed a large set of socioeconomic issues pertinent to the members of the group in the presence of interested foreign representatives and organizations as well as announced to the watching world that six countries are set to join the group in 2024: Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Egypt and Ethiopia.

The summit was themed “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism”.

To better understand the piece, BRICS is an acronym that started as BRIC in 2001, coined by Jim O’Neill (a Goldman Sachs economist) for Brazil, China, India, and Russia. Later, in 2010, South Africa was added to become BRICS. Goldman Sachs claimed that the four BRIC economies will dominate the global economy by 2050. The main reason for such a claim was that China, India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa were ranked among the world’s fastest-growing and emerging market economies for years. The main comparative advantage of this group is their low labour costs, favourable demographics, and abundant natural resources during the global commodities boom.

Essentially, while Nigerians lament this deplorable inability of Nigeria to make the list, Vice President Kashim Shettima, contrary to expectation, reportedly stated that the country never applied for BRICS membership.

“So far, we have not applied for the membership of BRICS. And it is majorly informed by the fact that my principal, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is a true democrat that believes in consensus building,” “There are so many variables that need to be taken into cognizance. We have to evaluate so many tendencies and issues that require engagements with the economic advisory council, the Federal Executive Council, and even the National Assembly before an informed decision towards joining the BRICS would be taken’’.

Peripherally, the Vice President’s claim appears acceptable. However, the argument may not hold water when faced with embarrassing arguments. Take as an illustration, it was in the news that South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor, In early March, said that worldwide interest in the BRICS group was “huge.”

She further told television interviewers that she had 12 letters from interested countries on her desk’ “Saudi Arabia is one,” she said, adding that, “United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Algeria, and Argentina”, as well as Mexico and Nigeria.”

The crucial concern here is how do we reconcile the varying and conflicting claims discussed by Naledi Pandor and Nigeria’s Vice President?

Away from Naledi Pandor’s revelations, Nigerians with critical minds believe that the non-admission of Nigeria into BRICS is largely a sure sign of Nigeria’s battered economy and a manifestation of the current administration’s disrespect for healthy economic policies that could bring the nation’s economy out of the wood.

‘With malice to none but charity to all, this piece believed and still believes that there exists no reason as to why a serious body like BRICS would admit as a member, a nation that its economy under immediate past administration suffered brink of collapse with two consecutive recessions. Also, a reality to worry about is the fact that those negative policies that landed the nation in recession in the past are today embodied by the current administration’s anti-human economic policies characterized by protracted inabilities to stabilize the currency, the economy or grow the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Undoubtedly, looking at the BRICS growth potentials, the sustainability of their rise, and the impact they have already created on the environment of member nations, no one can describe as groundless the deep concern expressed by well-meaning Nigerians over the country’s failure to get enlisted as a member of the body.

Aside from the awareness that right from October 1, 1960, when Nigeria got her independence, it has related with the West with little or nothing to show for the relationship other than huge economic burden, infrastructural deficit and security challenges, there exists the other hands, hopeful signs, and possibility of economic growth and sociopolitical re-engineering if Nigeria joins BRICS.

For instance, reports have it that the cooperation among BRICS-member nations so far serves the common interests of the developing countries as well as the emerging market economies of member states. Also alluring is the awareness that cooperation and dialogue among the BRIC countries have also assisted the world’s harmony, peace and shared prosperity.

That is not the only benefit.

Viewed broadly, according to reports, BRICS countries from 2009 to 2014 agreed on economic and financial issues, including World Bank and IMF reforms. They agreed to undertake measures of mobilizing sufficient resources so that the IMF can strengthen its potential to combat all kinds of crises. They also created the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism, which provides an Extending Credit Facility in Local Currency, and the BRICS Exchanges Alliance.

In the same vein, the BRICS nation, it was reported, offered a source of foreign expansion for firms and solid returns for institutional investors. They also focused on some regional issues, including the problems related to Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Iran (their indigenous nuclear program), and coordinated together in resolving Conflicts, IMF reforms, the struggle against illicit drug trafficking, the need, use, and development of technologies in information and communication.

Also interesting is the awareness that, unlike other blocs, BRICS partners’ relations are built on the basis of the UN Charter; they follow the recognized principles as well as international law’s norms. All the member countries agreed to the following principles during their 2011 Summit. Those principles were: Openness, Pragmatism, Neutrality (regarding third parties) and Non-bloc nature’.

While this piece insists that joining the bloc remains an opportunity that Nigeria as a country must not miss, I hold the opinion that the country (Nigeria) will continue to suffer rejections in the hands of international organizations as well as face difficulty at home accelerating the economic life cycle of its people until leaders contemplate industrialization, or productive collaboration with private organizations that have surplus capital to create employment.

Therefore, as the debate rages, one point that  Nigeria and Africa as a whole must not fail to remember is that from what experts are saying, the current wealth disparity among nations (industrial economies), represented by highly industrialized Europe, North America and Japan on one hand and most developing (non-industrial economies) countries, in particular, those in sub-Saharan Africa, on the order is largely a function of difference in the technical capability and capacity to produce and manufacture modern technologies and to use the technologies to produce and manufacture globally competitive industrial goods and to sustain the commanding tasks of science and technology in the economy.

The disparity, it was noted, has since considerably widened and will continue to widen as long as the developing countries depend almost totally on industrial nations for the technologies and industrial inputs they need to sustain their economies. Consequently, the only way to bridge the wealth gap is for the world’s developing countries to build their domestic endogenous capabilities and capacities to produce modern technologies and competitive industrial goods in their own economies, he concluded.

Catalyzing the process will again necessitate recognition by public office holders in Nigeria that public order, personal and national security, economic and social programmes, and prosperity are not the natural order of things but depend on the ceaseless efforts and attention from an honest and effective government that the people elect. They must collectively recognize that it takes a prolonged effort to administer a country well and change the backward habits of the people.

Nigerians, on their part, must admit that it is time to recover their moral and strategic ‘health’ to demand accountability from their leaders for poor decisions, missed judgment, lack of planning, lack of preparation and wilful denial of the obvious truth about serious and imminent threats that are facing the country.

“The destiny of the ship is not in the harbour but in sailing the high sea’’ and so shall our collective responsibility be not to destroy this great nation but join hands to nurture and sustain it. If we are able to manage this situation and other social menace effectively and navigate out of the dangers of disintegration, it will once again announce the arrival of a brand new great nation where peace, love and new order shall reign supreme.

Utomi is the Program Coordinator (Media and Policy) at Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos. He can be reached via [email protected]

Related Stories

Unlocking Growth: M&A Opportunities in African VC Space

By Philani Mzila The past 12 months have seen a significant decline in venture capital (VC) funding in Africa. The total amount raised declined by almost 40% between July 2022 and June 2023 compared to the same period between 2021 and 2022. This sharp decline is particularly evident in the “Big Four” markets of Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, and Kenya, with funding contracting by as much as 77% in some. Due to these challenging market conditions, numerous startups are nearing the end of their financial runway and are struggling to secure further investment. Founders in this situation usually face three


Why Debt Financing is so Important for the African Business Market

By Nathaniel Nyika Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the beating heart of Africa’s economies. According to the World Economic Forum, as engines of growth, SMEs are responsible for around 80% of the continent’s employment, ultimately helping to reduce poverty and income inequality, enabling the establishment of a new middle class and driving demand for new goods and services. That’s why creating an enabling environment for SMEs to access finance will enhance their ability to not only contribute to Africa’s labour force but also facilitate the continent’s development and economic growth while driving the innovation needed to help solve the


BRICS: Considerations and Implications of a Single BRICS Currency

By Franco Macchiavelli The 15th BRICS Summit, hosted by South Africa in Johannesburg from 22 to 24 August, culminated in the widely anticipated announcement of a soon-to-be expanded BRICS bloc, with the admission of six new member countries to this economic grouping from January 2024. In the build-up to this year’s BRICS Summit, there has also been some speculation that the grouping might discuss the issuance of a joint currency to compete with the dollar as the reserve currency with world hegemony. However, this issue was not addressed during the event. South Africa’s representative stated that such an approach was


Mastering the Art of Pitching Media Monitoring and Intelligence to Clients: A Guide for PR Agencies

By Philip Odiakose In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, effective public relations strategies are more critical than ever for maintaining a strong brand presence and reputation. One indispensable tool that PR agencies can offer to clients is media monitoring and intelligence. This sophisticated resource empowers businesses to stay ahead of their competition, adapt swiftly to changing trends, and make data-driven decisions. In this article, we delve into the art of pitching media monitoring and intelligence services to clients, showcasing the value it brings to the table. Understanding the Basics Before diving into the pitch, it’s essential to have a clear

More Stories

Ambode Pledges to Protect Lagosians from Injustice

By Modupe Gbadeyanka Lagos State government, through the Public Advice Centre (PAC), has vowed to alleviate the difficulties that indigents in the State face while trying to access justice, assuring that the present administration has made it possible for everybody, irrespective of religion, sex, tribe, rich or poor to have equal access to justice. Speaking at a sensitisation programme organised by the government in Badagry, the Director, Public Advice Center, Mrs Tola Akinsanya said that investigation has revealed that a lot of people could not access justice because of the cost and this has made some of them resort to


Court Adjourns Oronsaye’s Case To February 7

By Destiny Ugorji A Federal Capital Territory High Court on Friday adjourned to February 7, 2017, the case between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Nigeria’s former Head of Service, Mr Steve Oronsaye. The court explained that it adjourned the case to enable the defence counsel file the no case submission it earlier mentioned before it. Prior to the court’s decision to adjourn, lead defence counsel, Mr Kanu Agabi (SAN) expressed the readiness of his team to proceed with the filing of the “no case submission” to enable the matter continue same day, an argument the court did


FG Begins Sale of N10.69b Debut Green Bond

By Dipo Olowookere The issuance of the debut FGN Green Bond worth N10.69 billion has commenced. The exercise kicked off on Monday, December 18, 2017 and will end on Wednesday, December 20, 2017. According to information released by the Debt Management Office (DMO) yesterday on the exercise, the 5-year FGN Green Bond due in 2022 is offered at 13.48 percent. Proceeds from the sale will be used solely for Green projects in the 2017 Appropriation Act already identified and certified. The debt office, which is supervising the exercise on behalf of the Nigerian government, explained that investors can subscribe for


Tompolo’s Fight Against Oil Theft, a Snuff on the Nose of Nigerians

By Asiayei Enaibo For the bleeding economy to resurrect, there must be a battle for a man who has proven moral and sacred emblem of integrity, selflessness, true to self, focus and determination without fear of the unknown bullets of tomorrow. Yes, someone must be an example for others to follow. The preparation was placed on him before he was born. So many conspiracies and noise from brothers, neighbours and friends, but it is an armless battle of economy saboteurs. Some will clap, some with tears; that is how battles have been since there was a fight—resources battle of oil


BonnyLight Energy Boosts Nigeria’s Diesel Refining Capacity

By Adedapo Adesanya BonnyLight Energy and Offshore Limited has announced the supply of 20,000 metric tonnes (MT) of Premium Automotive Gas Oil (popularly known as diesel) into the Nigerian market to help bridge the huge gap in Nigeria’s refining capacity. The product, lifted from Amsterdam, Netherlands, is poised to wet the company’s tank farms strategically located to serve key markets situated across the region through its base in Kirikiri, Ijegun, Creek Road in Lagos; Warri and Oghara in Delta State as well as Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The product supplies come at crucial times occasioned by high consumption of diesel


CBN Boosts FX Supply at Retail Secondary Market

By Adedapo Adesanya  The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has injected the sum of $218.41 million into the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS). According to the Director of Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafo, this intervention also included the release of CYN18 million (Chinese Yuan) into the spot and short-tenored forward segment of the interbank foreign exchange market. In a statement issued at the bank’s headquarters in Abuja on Friday, February 7, Mr Okorafor explained that the development was in continuation of the CBN intervention in the interbank foreign exchange market. He further disclosed


UBA Fixes Sept 18 for Payment of 20 kobo Interim Dividend

By Dipo Olowookere The board of United Bank for Africa (UBA) has said it would pay an interim dividend of 20 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo each of the company held by its shareholder. This cash reward is for the half year ended June 30, 2019, Business Post reports. The payment, which is subject to applicable withholding tax, would be paid electronically on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, to shareholders whose names appear on the register of members as at the close of business on September 12, 2019. The money would also be paid to the company’s investors


Zain, Flytxt Partner to Enhance Customer Experience

By Dipo Olowookere Flytxt, a fast growing customer data analytics software company, says it has entered into an agreement to deploy its Customer Value Management (CVM) solutions for Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa. Flytxt, through its CVM solutions, will deliver deeper customer insights to enhance customer experience and revenue for Zain Group operations. Duncan Howard, Chief Commercial Officer, Zain Group said, “As a sustainable and innovative digital communications company, we strive to understand our customers better and provide better mobile experience to them through technology. Flytxt is a leading

Recent Stories

Banking, Energy Stocks Slurp N126bn from Nigerian Exchange

By Dipo Olowookere The bears tightened their grip on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Tuesday, chopping off 0.34 per cent from the local bourse despite assurances from Mr Yemi Cardoso he would endeavour to ensure the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) restores its independence. Mr Cardoso was confirmed as the new CBN Governor by the Senate yesterday and he promised to formulate evidence-based monetary policies, a departure from his predecessor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who was accused of romancing the President and coming up with trial-and-error policies. Business Post reports that investors were more interested in trimming their exposure to


Senate Confirms Cardoso as CBN Governor, Pledges Evidence-Based Policies

By Adedapo Adesanya The new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Yemi Cardoso, has said he would adopt an evidence-based monetary policy as he assumed office upon confirmation by the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday. He said the new leadership of CBN would “adopt an evidence-based monetary policy and shall not be making decisions based on a whim.” The Godswill Akpabio-led Senate confirmed the nomination of Mr Cardoso’s nomination as well as that of the four Deputy Governors of CBN nominated by President Bola Tinubu. The four deputy governors whose appointments were confirmed by the Senate are Mrs


AFC Gets $300m Chinese Loan to Boost Trade Finance

By Adedapo Adesanya  Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has secured a $300 million loan from the Export-Import Bank of China (CEXIM) to drive increased trade finance and investment across the African continent, fostering economic growth and development. The infrastructure solutions provider on the continent announced the successful signing of the landmark agreement on the sidelines of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Annual meetings in Egypt. The 3-year credit facility is a significant development in AFC’s long-standing relationship with CEXIM. The two institutions have collaborated since 2018, with AFC receiving $400 million in bilateral loans from CEXIM to date. According to


Fluenta Installs Technology to Reduce Gas Flaring at Dangote Refinery

By Adedapo Adesanya Ultrasonic sensing technology company, Fluenta, has completed work on the Dangote Refinery in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil refinery, installing 18 ultrasonic flare gas meters on large pipelines around the plant. This company is using its technology to aid Nigeria’s flare gas reduction efforts and with Dangote Refinery set to begin operations soon, according to its management recently, this could be a step to fix inaccurate measurements of gas flaring. Nigeria currently imports refined petroleum products for its use, even though it is Africa’s biggest oil producer and with Dangote Refinery, the world’s largest single-train refinery capable of


Smart Recycling Hub Opens in Ibadan

By Aduragbemi Omiyale A smart recycling hub has been unveiled at the Ojoo terminal in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, courtesy of a waste management consultant, Mottainai Recycling Limited. The facility was opened on Monday at a ceremony attended by the representatives of the state government, the consultant, and the Akinyele Local Government, among others. The Director of Environment of the local council, Mrs Ahmed B.D., said the initiative was aimed to raise awareness among traders, market women, and the general public about climate change, stressing the hazards and consequences of indiscriminate waste disposal, and other undesirable waste management practices.


Small Business Owners Fret Over Exchange Rate Instability

By Bliss Okperan The exchange rate instability in the country is already giving small business owners sleepless nights and it threatens their investments. This concern was raised recently by the National Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Association of Small-Scale Industrialists, Mr Segun Kuti-George. He emphasised that business owners would have to increase their prices because of the unavoidable consequence of the current exchange rate crisis in Nigeria. According to him, if consumers are unable to meet up with the increase in the cost of goods and services, businesses would be forced to shut down their operations, which would, in turn,


NGX RegCo’s Code of Conduct for Stockbrokers Takes Effect October 3

By Aduragbemi Omiyale A new Code of Conduct for Approved Persons of Trading License Holders, otherwise known as stockbrokers, has been introduced by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Regulation Limited (NGX RegCo). It was disclosed that the ethical guideline was designed to ensure professionals dealing with the trading of shares at NGX Limited follow high standards. Furthermore, it highlights the expected standards and values that Approved Persons must display at all times when conducting their businesses at all times. The idea of the code of conduct for stockbrokers, according to the regulator, is to deepen the market and foster professionalism, integrity,


Sustainable Development is a Necessity for Every Society in the World

By Professor Maurice Okoli For the majority of African leaders and delegates, it was a momentous achievement, to participate and contribute speeches with diverse themes at the podium during the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. The UNGA traditionally meets in September, the highest global gathering to make several significant decisions on what the organization, consisting of 193 UN members, is generally expected to do. It has wrapped up its 78th annual session with another huge pack of commitments to engage in reshaping a better life for the entire population and Development paradigms in the


Equinor to Sell 20.2% Stake in Nigeria Oil Field Asset to Chappal

By Adedapo Adesanya A foreign oil company, Equinor ASA, has chosen a little-known Nigerian company, Chappal Energy, as the preferred buyer of its stake in one of the country’s largest deep-water oil fields, Agbami. According to a report by Bloomberg on Monday, the Norwegian energy giant is trying to sell its 20.2 per cent interest in the Agbami field – joining other international producers such as Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corporation and Eni SpA in looking to offload assets in Africa’s biggest crude producer, Nigeria. In January, Equinor launched the sale of its stake in an offshore Nigerian oilfield, joining


400-year-old British Institution Opens $150m School in Lagos

By Adedapo Adesanya A 400-year-old British educational institution, Charterhouse, has commissioned its first African school, currently in progress on a sprawling 70-hectare site located at Ogombo in Lekki, Lagos. The introduction of Charterhouse Lagos marks the convergence of British independent school heritage with cutting-edge educational practices, ushering in a new era of excellence in West African education. Charterhouse Lagos will represent a remarkable educational undertaking in the commercial capital of the country, with the planned $150 million campus expected to be fully delivered in 2028. The school’s development will unfold gradually, with the first intake of primary school students in