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Cablegate: Nigeria: G.E. Visits Nigeria to Discuss Investment

VZCZCXRO0613
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #2324 3311708
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261708Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4556
INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS PRIORITY 0338
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0243
RUEHTO/AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 0014
RUEHLU/AMEMBASSY LUANDA 0077
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC

UNCLAS ABUJA 002324

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT PASS TO USTR- AGAMA, USTDA - FITTS/MARIN, EXIM - JRICHTER AND
AID AFR/SD - CURTIS
DOT FOR FAA MEL CINTRON

E.O. 12598: N/A
TAGS: ECON ENRG EAIR ELTN EFIN ERTD EINV NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: G.E. VISITS NIGERIA TO DISCUSS INVESTMENT
OPPORTUNITIES

SENSITVE BUT UNCLASSIED - NOT FOR DISTRO OUTSIDE USG

1. (SBU) Summary. On November 12, 2008 the Ambassador met with a 23
member international delegation, plus 10 in-country staff, from
General Electric's 12 business units to discuss potential for
investment opportunities in Nigeria. GE expressed interest in
increasing its investments in Nigeria, which the Ambassador
encouraged. The GE hopes to focus in railways, electricity
generation and health care sectors. The Ambassador encouraged GE to
engage with the National Assembly, State Governors and
non-governmental organizations as they move forward. End Summary.

GE EXPANDING INVESTMENTS IN AFRICA
----------------------------------

2. (SBU) Ambassador Sanders met with a 23 member international
delegation, plus 10 in-country staff, from General Electric (GE) on
November 12, 2008 in Abuja. The delegation represented all twelve
business units of the company and was led by the new President and
CEO for Sub-Saharan Africa Lazarus Angbazo and GE's Country Manager
Doere Akobo. GE is also visiting Kenya, Mozambique, and Angola
during their trip to Africa. The purpose of the visit was to
examine potential business. The GE team met with Nigerian
government officials, non-government organizations, academics, and
private companies. Following the visit, the team will prepare
recommendations for potential investment and invite key Nigerians to
participate in discussions at the John F. Welch Leadership
Development Center in Crotonville, New York in early 2009.

FOCUS ON NIGERIA
----------------

3. (SBU) In a private meeting, the Ambassador welcomed GE and
encouraged their investment in Nigeria. Lazarus replied that GE has
taken a big step with its first ever focus on sustainable investment
in Nigeria. The Ambassador noted that other investors, especially
from China and India, are numerous and very engaged in Nigeria. In
the past, U.S. investors have tended to focus on fully developed
projects that do not require project development. The Ambassador
thanked GE for its involvement in the rail and electricity sectors
and encouraged more.

4. (SBU) In response to a question on contracting and partnership
frameworks, the Ambassador explained U.S. companies should draft
very clear contracts and well-developed arbitration sections. The
Ambassador underscored that the current administration requires all
ventures and partnerships be approved through the National Assembly
and has overturned several from the previous administration that had
not.

5. (SBU) The Ambassador encouraged GE to engage in public private
partnerships (PPP) because PPPs have resulted in useful information
sharing, collaboration and buy-in from key participants. She also
suggested that GE engage with the National Assembly, State
Governors, State Commissioners and non-government organizations
because collaboration was one of the key components to success in
Nigeria. The Ambassador stressed the importance of pro-active
engagement with the governors, and related that the USG has had
success in the health sector because of this pro-active engagement
with state governors.

6. (SBU) Comment: Since the beginning of 2008 the Mission has
advocated with GE for the company to increase investment ties with
Nigeria. GE's business units are competitive in the railway, energy
and health sectors and could provide the company with increased
revenue and goodwill. The visit is a positive first step and
hopefully the planned discussions with a Nigerian delegation to NY
in early 2009 will lead to concrete plans to increase investments in
Nigeria. End Comment.

7. (U) This cable was coordinated with Consulate Lagos.

SANDERS

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