From its very inception as a sovereign nation economic integration as a basis of enhancing functional co-operation among the nations of West Africa has been a cardinal principle of Nigeria’s ECOWAS policy hence the formation of economic unions with West African countries in the first Republic under Abubakar Tafawa Balewa administration. The rational behind Nigeria’s avoyed stand on West Africa is based on its realization that its security interests are intertwined with its neighbours in the sub-region. Playing a leadership role in West Africa gives her an advantage in doing same at the continental as well as the global level. However, among other recent issues, the role of South Africa in trying to undermine Nigeria’s role in the Ivorian crisis is an eye opener to Nigeria’s leadership that there is the need to externalize domestic priorities. Therefore, President Goodluck Jonathan administration’s new focus on Nigerian Foreign Policy which hinges on economic diplomacy is a welcome development.