A professor of International Relations at the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin, Amadu Sesay, said on Friday that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union would have negative consequences on Nigeria.
Mr. Sesay said the immediate impact of the exit of Britain from the 28-member nation group would be the redefinition of the relationship between the new Britain and other countries, including Nigeria.
Mr. Sesay said the new Britain would want to look inwards and cut cost, especially from most of the assistance it was giving to developing countries.
He said that the UK under David Cameron had been supporting Nigeria, particularly in the fight against corruption and insurgency in the north east, adding that such support may no longer be in place as the ideology of the new Britain may be to use its resources to develop and take care of its people.
Describing Britain’s exit from EU as a self-inflicted injury, Mr. Sesay urged Nigeria and other African countries to explore the advantages it creates.
He said Nigeria and other countries may technically benefit from the exit of Britain from the EU by making use of some of the advantages, such as the devaluation of pound sterling against other international currencies.
“With the exit (of Britain from EU), the Pound Sterling has fallen against the U.S. Dollar, while Euro too has also fallen.
“For fear of the unknown, investors immediately began to move their investments thinking of relocation and that affected the value of the Pound and it began to fall.
“So, if the Pound Sterling is falling, it is good for Nigeria, particularly at this time that the Naira is struggling to find it true value in the interbank market under the new policy introduced recently by the Central Bank of Nigeria. It is a welcome development at that level,” he said.
He, however, called on the government and the financial institutions in Nigeria to begin to plan against any negative fallout from the exit, particularly the need for financial institutions to adopt survival strategies to benefit from the development.
“The federal government has to redefine its foreign policy and refocus its ability to be able to relate with the EU and the new British government,” he said.