Search

 

Cablegate: Nigeria: Key Elites Work Together To

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 002200

SIPDIS


STATE PASS TO USTR: USTR FOR WHITAKER AND COLEMAN;
STATE FOR AF/PD, AF/W, AF/RA, AF/EB, IIP/G/AF,
IIP/T/ES (CHRISTISON), PA/PI/OBS/P
LAGOS FOR PAS, ECON, FCS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KPAO OIIP SCUL NI AGOA
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: KEY ELITES WORK TOGETHER TO
OVERCOME AGOA FAILURES


1. SUMMARY: The Public Affairs Section and the
Foreign Commercial Service of the U.S. Mission in
Nigeria organized two one-day seminars, June 19-20,
in Abuja focusing on the Africa Growth and
Opportunity Act (AGOA). The seminars, "AGOA:
Participating in Trade," and "Public-Private
Partnership for Success with AGOA," featured PD-
provided speaker Dr. Sharon Freeman with Fred
Oladeinde and Gregory Simpkins of the Washington-
based Foundation for Democracy in Africa and Embassy
Counselor for Commercial Affairs Miguel Pardo de
Zela. The interaction of the speakers with the
audience, and the audience with itself, created a
positive dynamic and led to pledges of follow-up
between the GON and private sector. Audience
participation included seven Senators from the
Committee on Economic Affairs; senior officials of
the Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Investment
Promotion Council (NIPC), and Nigerian Export
Promotion Council (NEPC); officials from Ministries
of Commerce and Industries at state and federal
levels, and leading industrialists and textile
industry representatives from Kano and Kaduna. The
seminars also promoted AGOA-related activities
including the July 11-12 Seminar in Accra, Ghana.
End Summary.


GPRA Data:


2. DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITY: More than 140
policymakers and key players in the Nigerian
manufacturing sector participated in the two days of
seminars. The key speaker for the two sessions, Dr.
Sharon Freeman, described AGOA and explained its
potential to enhance growth and productivity. Dr.
Freeman said the failure to date to implement
textile visas and trans-shipment laws, and poor
infrastructure, had prevented Nigeria from realizing
significant benefits from AGOA. She encouraged the
private and public sector participants to express
their own concerns, and suggested possible remedies
based on her experience promoting the Caribbean
Basin Initiative in the 1980s. Oladeinde and
Simpkins addressed the need for public-private
sector interaction. Pardo de Zela discussed the
inevitability of globalization, the need for
Nigerian enterprises to proactively seek out and use
available information and sources of credit, and
described how the Foreign Commercial Service could
assist businesses wishing to export to the U.S.


3. JUSTIFICATION AND OBJECTIVE: During the two
years since AGOA became law, Nigeria has made little
progress in increasing exports to the U.S.
Macroeconomic policies which hamper exports, a lack
of commitment by the business community, and poor
infrastructure are among the obstacles to using AGOA
to create an alternative to petroleum as a source of
export earnings. These seminars brought key
individuals and institutions together to see how
these problems might be addressed.


4. DATE: June 19-20, 2002, FY 2002, third quarter


5. MPP UMBRELLA THEME AND AUDIENCE REACHED: Economic
Development. Over 140 contacts drawn from relevant
Nigerian institutions, including officials of the
Ministry of Commerce, Nigerian Export Promotion
Council, Nigerian Investment Promotion Council,
NEXIM Bank, Nigerian Customs Service, elected
officials including several national legislators and
state governors or their representatives, and
private sector representatives from chambers of
commerce, major textile manufacturers, exporters,
and non-governmental organizations engaged in
manufacturing attended the seminar. Regular viewers
of Nigeria's national television, estimated to be
several million, and those who read newspapers, were
also part of the audience reached with the AGOA
message.


6. NON-USG SUPPORT: None


7. USG SUPPORT: Excellent. Post appreciates
Washington's support in making Dr. Freeman
available. The Foreign Commercial Service was also
of great assistance, as was USAID, which sponsored
Oladeinde and Simpkins and his group in their trip
to Nigeria. Freeman is an articulate speaker. At
Post request, she modified her presentation to
promote greater dialogue among the participants. Her
experience in working with Central America gave her
the authority to convince the audience that they
could overcome similar problems facing their export
sector.


8. MEDIA REACTION: Dr. Freeman gave a 45-minute
interview to Rhythm Radio, Abuja. The national TV
network, NTA, gave her a 60-second soundbite.
Lagos-based Vanguard, one of Nigeria's leading
papers, particularly among business readers, ran a
three-quarter-page interview with Dr. Freeman.
Jeter

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Myanmar: Military Must Stop Murdering And Jailing Protestors – Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said security forces in Myanmar must “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protestors,” following another day of deadly violence across the country on Wednesday... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>