Government, International Organizations
At independence in 1960 Nigeria joined the United Nations (UN) and its affiliated agencies. It also joined the British Commonwealth of Nations. Its membership in the Commonwealth was temporarily suspended between 1995 and 1999 to protest human rights abuses and the slow rate of democratization by the Abacha government. Nigeria is also a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Nonaligned Movement (NAM). A founding member of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), Nigeria took the lead in opposing the apartheid regime in South Africa. It is also the dominant partner in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and a member of the African Development Bank and the Lake Chad Basin Commission.