Nigeria’s Vice President Kashim Shettima says the country has not formally applied for membership of BRICS, an emerging economic/political bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India China, and South Africa.
Shettima said the country has not applied to join because President Bola Tinubu is a true democrat who believes in consensus building and must therefore engage in consultation with various political and economic stakeholders, and the citizens before a decision on that is finally made.
The Vice President who spoke in an interview with Channels Television on why Nigeria has not joined BRICS, said there are so many variables that need to be evaluated coupled with the need for consultations with the National Economic Advisory Council, Federal Executive Council, and the National Assembly before an informed decision is taken.
“So far we have not applied for the membership of BRICS. Fundamentally informed by the fact that my principal President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a true democrat who believes in consensus building.
“There are so many variables that need to be taken into cognizance. We have to evaluate so many tendencies, issues, and scope that require engagements with the Economic Advisory Council, with the Federal Executive Council, and even with the National Assembly before an informed decision towards joining the BRICS will be taken,” the Vice President stated.
The VP was apparently reacting to reports that Nigeria applied to join the group but was declined.
Members of the BRICS held their 15th heads of state and government summit in Johannesburg between August 22 and 24. 2023.
The bloc which was founded in 2009 and expanded its membership with the joining of South Africa in 2010, aims to provide a veritable platform for its members to challenge a world order dominated by the United States and its Western allies.
At the conclusion of the summit on Thursday, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced further expansion of the bloc’s membership with six new countries that offered to join by January 2024. The countries include Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates.
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Apart from geopolitics, the group also seeks deeper economic cooperation and increasing multilateral trade and development.
Vice President Shettima, who represented Tinubu at the summit said his principal’s economic reforms and diplomatic alliances will attract investments and partnerships to Nigeria while aligning with international and regional cooperation. “We want a partnership that guarantees a world governed by acceptable rules and norms. These nations confront historical developmental vulnerabilities and challenges that are beyond their control. Thus, it is imperative for us to unite within regional groups and forge a novel form of international cooperation.
“The new government, which began less than three months ago, is examining variables and evaluating the scope and level of regional and global cooperation to pursue, in order to establish Nigeria as a desired friend and partner,”’ Shettima said at the summit.
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