This study seeks to investigate Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives in Africa and the world. Nigeria has employed several means-one of which is reliance on diplomacy of peacekeeping operations. However, one may be tempted to ask, in whose interests are Nigeria’s national interests? Also, what has Nigeria been able to achieve as a country and for its citizens? Hence, this study aims to answer the following research questions; what underpins Nigeria’s diplomacy through peacekeeping in its foreign policy; what have been the direct and indirect benefits of Nigeria’s diplomacy through peacekeeping? The study was anchored on Wolfers’ rational actor model of decision-making analysis. Qualitative methods of data collection and analysis were adopted. At the end it was ascertained that; national interest has not been a driving factor in Nigeria’s commitment to its foreign policy; and Nigeria’s foreign policy through peacekeeping operations has not had pay-offs in elevating the international stature of the country in the international system. The study hence, recommends as follows; Nigeria’s foreign policy makers should jettison the notion of being Africa’s ‘Father Christmas’; Reciprocity in Nigeria’s foreign policy actions and decisions must come into play if it is to assume hegemonic status which it craves in Africa.
Keywords: Rational, Foreign policy, National interest, Realism, Peacekeeping