For centuries, United States foreign policy has been outwardly characterized by its diplomatic and economic encouragement of fledgling democracies around the world. In particular, the nations of Africa are seen to benefit from America's idealistic foreign agenda. After forty years of independent stuggle and civil war, Nigeria has freely elected a leader who expresses willingness to strengthen his nation's global position through international trade and assistance. At this critical stage in Nigeria's political development, will U.S. policymakers pay lip service to democracy through limited "unrewarding social work" or will it recognize common national interests to further a "genuinely reciprocal and mutually beneficial" relationship? This Article critiques the quantity and quality of U.S. aid to Nigeria, examining underlying tensions and motivations, and the forces of globalization. In order for Nigeria to find a true and stable democracy, this Article contends, U.S. policy must establish Nigeria's role as an independent partner in the exchange of cultural and natural resources, as part of a genuine effort to bolster its domestic capability.