Cablegate: Moving Ahead with Nigeria On the Evian

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





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 33364
C. STATE 350



1. (SBU) Finance Minister Ngozi and Presidential
Advisor Ezekwesili have given Post concrete expression
of Nigerian government interest in a G-8
transparency/anti-corruption pilot program in January
(Ref B), and reaffirmed that in February to Post and
also in their meetings with U/S Larson at Davos. Post
believes it is necessary to move forward with the Evian
program, given that Nigeria has been identified as an
Evian pilot country and that EITI is already publicly
moving forward in Nigeria under the GON, British and
World Bank (Ref C). Partly to ensure that EITI does
not get too far ahead of the Evian framework, Post has
been coordinating with G-8 missions, the World Bank and
IMF here, and will host all of them March 17 for a
coordination meeting.

2. (SBU) Per the Reftelcon D request for ideas on the
way forward, Post believes it possible to begin a G-8
coordinating body in Abuja at the March 17 meeting, to
begin negotiations with the GON on the joint Political
Statement as soon as Department instructions are
received, and to aim for negotiations thereafter to
produce the consolidated G-8/GON Technical Plan --
before the G-8 summit if desirable. Nigeria is
different from the other Evian pilot countries in that:

-- Several G-8 members, and the World Bank and IMF,
already have major transparency/anti-corruption
programs in place in Nigeria, and thus the Technical
Plan exercise will be more looking for small gaps and
negotiating GON milestones than the start-from- scratch
program approach necessary in other countries.

-- Because of Nigeria's importance and the size of the
major transparency/anti-corruption programs in place, G-
8 Embassies, Missions and the World Bank already have
political and technical capacity on the ground to
conduct both of the negotiations.

-- The GON has already named an anti-corruption czar,
Dr. Ezekwesili, and is already moving forward through
her on EITI. End Summary.


3. (SBU) Events are moving rapidly in Nigeria, with or
without us. The same senior Nigerian Government (GON)
officials have told U/S Larson and us in February that
Nigeria is interested in being a pilot country for the
Evian transparency/anti-corruption program. Those
senior GON officials are already doing many of the
things they would do under an Evian pilot program,
including EITI, whether we do an Evian pilot program or
not. G-8 countries have extensive transparency/anti-
corruption programs here, again whether or not Nigeria
is an Evian pilot.

4. (SBU) The gains we make in having an Evian program
here are that it would coordinate these activities, and
commit the GON to specific milestones and performance.
Post does not envision much if any additional USG
funding above the considerable programs already funded,
and our consultations with other G-8 countries, the
World Bank and IMF lead us to believe little additional
will come from them for similar reasons. It is more
likely -- and here we are unlike the smaller country
pilots -- that the Evian technical plan with Nigeria
will identify small gaps we will seek to fill with
small funding, first from Canada, Japan and Russia
which have Embassies here but no anti-corruption

5. (SBU) Coordination will be critical. EITI is
already far in front, having been launched publicly and
already working on policy issues (Ref B). The GON is
pushing ahead on EITI for its own reasons, and delay on
Evian will make it appear separate and make
coordination more difficult. Transparency/anti-
corruption programs are a growth industry in Nigeria,
and we must also use Evian to map out the G-8's
combined existing programs to prevent duplication and
to prevent forum-shopping by Nigerians.

6. (SBU) Most existing G-8 members' transparency/anti-
corruption programs have performance benchmarks, but
they tend to be limited results from the particular
program instead of overall progress and performance
toward transparency and against corruption. The G-8
Evian pilot program will give us opportunities in the G-
8/GON Political Statement and in the comprehensive
Technical Plan to work with the GON on broader
performance-oriented milestones.


7. (SBU) To keep up, Embassy Abuja is already
coordinating with other G-8 members, the World Bank and
IMF here in Abuja. Post is working with them to draw
up a comprehensive list of existing G-8 member
programs, and compare their goals to find synergies.
At the meeting Embassy Abuja will host on March 17, we
will ask our G-8 colleagues for their ideas on timeline
and mechanisms for working with the GON under Evian.
We originally planned this Abuja coordinating body to
coordinate the growth in the various countries'
transparency/anti-corruption programs here with a mind
to using it for Evian if Nigeria became a pilot. With
EITI already making progress, that coordination will
become critical.


8. (SBU) The farther Evian is behind EITI, the more
difficult the G-8/GON joint Political Statement will be
to accomplish. EITI is already mapping out milestones
with the Nigerians; Evian could be limited to those
milestones if we do not begin similar work soon with
the Nigerians on a broader Political Statement. The
GON's continuing effort on their own new programs will
have a similar limiting effect on our room to maneuver.
Moreover, at some point the GON could begin to see an
Evian pilot program with Nigeria as unlikely to be
consummated, considering that they have been expressing
interest for months without further action from us.

9. (SBU) Neither we nor the British, for different
reasons, have given the GON the "Indicative Statement"
model from paragraph 10 of Ref A. We did not after
learning (Reftelcon D) that another model is being
discussed by Washington and London. The British did
not because their instructions to do so came after the
Sous Sherpa meeting February 17-18, and the
instructions said to do so before that meeting. Both
we and the British have gone over the gist of that
model with GON interlocutors since.

10. (SBU) Post believes negotiating the Political
Statement can be done by G-8 member staff already in
Nigeria, augmented by experts from Washington if
desired, soon after we get the new instructions. All G-
8 members here have sizable Embassy political/economic
staffs and expertise on transparency/anti-corruption
issues that are already a priority for most of them.
USAID and DFID have large democracy and governance
units in Abuja with senior American and British staff
devoted to planning and running their existing
transparency/anti-corruption programs.

11. (SBU) Post believes negotiations on the Political
Statement should start with the GON in March, so Evian
does not get farther behind. One benefit of the G-8
having so many transparency/anti-corruption programs
already in Abuja is that we can work up much of the
technical program mapping among G-8 members here while
we negotiate the Political Statement with the
Nigerians, allowing for faster work with the GON on the
comprehensive Technical Plan.


12. (SBU) The process will be:
-- Map out existing G-8 programs in Nigeria (already

-- Map out existing GON transparency/anti-corruption

-- Find the gaps where those two sets do not coincide,
seeking to expand GON efforts where the G-8/World
Bank/IMF are able to help and seeking to fill gaps
where GON programs could use help that G-8 countries
are willing to add. Canada, Japan and Russia are doing
no such programs in Nigeria now, and perhaps could fill
some of those small niches.

-- Most important, seek agreement with the GON on
milestones for overall progress and performance.


13. (SBU) Post sees several opportunities from moving
forward quickly, most of them basically "first to
market" advantages:

-- The Political Statement and Technical Plan can be
done much faster in Nigeria than in the other pilot
countries, because so much already exists here, and
Nigeria's Statement and Plan can serve as models in
both form and process for the others.

-- Likewise, a Nigeria pilot that can produce Political
Statement and Technical Plan before the G-8 Summit will
show off the Evian program to non-pilot countries, as
well as be a coup for the USG as Summit host.

-- Programs packaged in that way for Nigeria can be
models for programs by other donors in other countries.

14. (SBU) The flip side is also true. If Evian does
not move forward in Nigeria as EITI has and is, all of
those advantages will apply to EITI alone instead of
EITI as part of Evian.

© Scoop Media

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