Cablegate: Nigeria's Sea Island Compact Action Plan

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

1. Summary: The GON's Senior Special Adviser to the
President, Oby Ezekwesili, invited Poloff to her office
on December 10 to receive the updated Nigeria-G8 action
plan. She instead also invited World Bank Senior
Advisor Charles McPherson and, with McPherson as
audience, used the meeting to lecture Poloff on how she
thought U.S. anti-corruption priorities were different
from those of the rest of the G8. She said the updated
action plan was not yet ready, and promised to provide
it on December 16. End Summary.

2. On December 8, Oby's office called the Embassy and
requested Poloff meet with Oby on Friday, December 10
at 4pm to receive the long-awaited GON-G8 action plan.
Finance Minister Ngozi had said it would be provided
three weeks earlier, but internal delays within GON had
delayed it.

3. When Poloff arrived at the scheduled date and time,
Mr. Charles McPherson, Washington-based Senior Adviser
to the World Bank's Oil, Gas, Mining & Chemicals
Department, was already in Oby's office. Oby asked
Poloff to come in, and by way of introduction told
McPherson, "As I was saying to you, (Poloff) and his
government don't care about EITI because it's not their
baby. The U.S. wants their own things because they
want to show they did something while they were in
charge of the G8." Poloff responded that the U.S. has
chaired the G8 as a whole in 2004, and its G8
Transparency/Anti-Corruption Working Group (GETAWG) of
G8 member embassies, IMF and World Bank in Abuja.
Poloff described GETAWG's work over the past year with
the GON to McPherson, who was not familiar with GETAWG.
(Note: Abuja-based World Bank staffer Victoria Kwakwa
is a member of the GETAWG, but has rarely attended
meetings. End Note.)

4. Oby laughed loudly and told McPherson she "enjoyed
diplomatese," but said that the U.S. wants its own
things, not EITI, so she "goes through the motions" to
give the U.S. what it wants. She told McPherson that
she could continue working with the World Bank to "fill
in the gaps where the U.S. isn't interested." Laughing
again, Oby said she was amused by the "battle of egos
between the U.S. and the UK over EITI." (Note: As Oby
well knows, the USG provides active support to EITI
inside and outside GETAWG. End Note.)

5. Oby waved a folder full of 10-20 sheets of paper,
saying she had been working on the action plan the U.S.
demanded and would "whittle all of this" into three
specific requests, and the "U.S. could do what it wants
with it." She said the GON's action plan would be
ready December 16 when the Finance Minister returned
from her travel to sign the document, which would then
be faxed to U/S Larson. Oby agreed to e-mail Poloff a
copy for G8 representatives in GETAWG after the Finance
Minister had signed the hard copy.

6. Oby then ushered McPherson and Poloff out of her
office. On the way out, McPherson expressed to Oby the
World Bank's interest in supporting the GON's audit
function. Oby replied that she knew she could count on
the support of the World Bank and the UK's Department
for International Development (DFID).

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