Developing Countries and Regional Economic Cooperation

By M. Leann Brown | Go to book overview

4 The ECOWAS Case: Nigeria's 1983 Decision to Expel Allen Workers

The decision-making scenario to be examined in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) case involves Nigeria 1983 expulsion of an estimated I million Ghanaians and an additional 1 million citizens from other West African countries illegally employed within its borders. 1 Nigeria played a primary role in the founding of the ECOWAS in 1975, contributes 32% toward the community's budget, and hosts the community's headquarters ( Falola and Ihonvbere, 1985: 141). In May 1979, the ECOWAS leadership signed a protocol providing for the "Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence, and Establishment." Nigeria led the campaign for swift ratification and implementation of the protocol, which entered into force May 20, 1980. However, in 1983, pressing economic, social, and political problems resulted in the government decision to deport alien workers, most of whom were citizens of Ghana and other West African countries, Nigeria's ECOWAS partners.

Although legal according to domestic immigration and ECOWAS law, the deportation is a blatant example of a member state's policy decision contravening the spirit of a regional economic community initiative, in this case the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence, and Establishment. The decision was made in a capricious fashion, without prior consultation with ECOWAS members, and resulted in extreme hardship for the deportees. This case reveals that immediate and specific economic, societal, and political difficulties deriving from the global oil glut of the early 1980s and resulting and concurrent societal and political instability superseded in the minds of Nigeria's leaders any concern that the expulsion order might negatively affect the regional economic organization.

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Developing Countries and Regional Economic Cooperation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Explaining Regional Economic Cooperation: The Case for a Cognitive Framing Model 13
  • Notes 39
  • 3 - The Andean Case: The 1976 Chilean Decision to Withdraw from the Pact 43
  • Notes 68
  • 4 - The Ecowas Case: Nigeria's 1983 Decision to Expel Allen Workers 73
  • Notes 95
  • 5 - The Asean Case: The 1977 Philippine Decision Concerning Sabah 99
  • Notes 122
  • 6 - Conclusions and Policy Recommendations 125
  • Notes 142
  • Appendix 145
  • Bibliography 155
  • Index 169
  • About the Author 175
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