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Cablegate: Nigeria (and Uk) Re-Write G8 Transparency

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 000728

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR E, EB AND AF
DEPARTMENT ALSO PASS USAID

E.O. 12958; N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM EAID KCOR NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA (AND UK) RE-WRITE G8 TRANSPARENCY
ANTI-CORRUPTION ACTION PLAN

REF: STATE 79556

1. (SBU) With the British, the GON has expanded its
Action Plan requests of January 2005 into a thematic
structure that happens now to include most existing and
pipeline DfID anti-corruption projects. It does not
include any existing or pipeline USG anti-corruption
programs in Nigeria, although roughly 20 million
dollars worth exist and address many of the items in
the new matrix. The British sent the new matrix to us
May 5, and the British High Commission told us May 6
that it was DfID's revision on the basis of discussions
with the GON's anti-corruption czar Oby Ezekwesili.
The G8 Transparency/Anti-corruption Working Group
(GETAWG) met May 10, and the British chair brought Oby
and representatives from several GON anti-corruption
agencies "to match interested donors to specific
proposals" in the new matrix. Oby said the new matrix
replaces the January Action Plan. We are e-mailing a
copy of the new plan to EB and AF.

2. (SBU) The changes may or may not have been intended
to show the UK already responding to Nigeria's Action
Plan requests, but the new Action Plan still includes
the five projects the Department agreed to support with
1.7 million USD in INCLE funds. It also still includes
three other projects with the Senate Budget Committee
that would be priorities for us (see below) after
secondment of two USG legal experts to the Economic and
Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Accountant
General projects.

3. (SBU) We will follow up with Oby and the British to
ensure that the Nigeria-G8 Action Plan properly
identifies what are present/pipeline activities and
what are new activities under the Compact, and also
includes all present/pipeline activities without
singling out those of any one donor. We urge
Washington, and especially U.S. representatives to the
G8, to do the same. We will also study the new Action
Plan to see if some of its additional projects might be
worthy of consideration for future funding, in the G8
framework or separately under existing programs.

---------------------
MAY 10 GETAWG MEETING
---------------------

4. (SBU) The May 10 GETAWG meeting did not "match
interested donors to specific proposals" in the new
Action Plan matrix, as none of the donors other than
the British had seen the new Plan for more than four
days, and none of them knew until the meeting that it
was to replace the January GON submission to the G8.
Oby claimed the new Plan was necessary in order to
integrate GON proposals. (Comment: The new Plan does
integrate some GON proposal areas but leaves other
apparent redundancies. It also adds new "proposals,"
many of which DfID is already funding. End Comment.)
Oby also asked that the G8 donors, World Bank and UNDP
work as a group in approaching each individual Nigerian
agency. She referred to present bilateral donor
approaches as "fragmented support that upsets rather
than gladdens."

5. (SBU) Other donors were interested if the new Plan's
superseding the January Plan meant the GON was
withdrawing January Plan requests that did not make it
into the new Plan. (The USG priorities are in both.)
Oby answered that donors could still consider January
Plan projects, and the GON would work them into the new
Plan. We noted that the USG was prepared to propose
1.7 million USD for specific programs from the January
GON submission that are in the new plan, and we would
report the new Plan to Washington. PolCouns asked that
the new Plan be updated to include all G8 donors'
existing/pipeline projects if it includes any such, and
Oby agreed that the matrix should capture all
transparency/anti-corruption projects that G8 donors
are doing in Nigeria.

--------------------------------------------- --
POST ANSWERS ON REFTEL IMPLEMENTATION QUESTIONS
--------------------------------------------- --

6. (U) As noted in e-mails to EB before May 6, Embassy
Abuja welcomes the 1.7 million USD in new INCLE funding
for the two EFCC secondments and three Accountant
General projects. To answer reftel questions on
implementation, Post requests the Department meet with
Treasury, Justice and USAID as soon as possible to cost
out the secondment of two USG employees to the EFCC,
our first priority, in order to calculate exactly how
much will be available for the three Accountant General
projects. Post urges that the Accountant General
projects funds, hopefully 1.2-1.3 million USD, be
transferred to USAID for field implementation through a
PASA or some similarly straightforward arrangement.
Nigeria just announced appointment of a new Accountant
General, Ibrahim Dankwambo, and moving ahead on the new
projects with him and the secondments with the EFCC
should be done right away. We very much appreciate the
Washington response and support for our G8 efforts.

---------------------------------
POST REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDS
---------------------------------

7. (U) Noting 1.3 million USD remaining in the OMB/NSC
target for funding in support of the Sea Island
compacts, Post requests 400,000 to 1.3 million USD over
and above the 1.78 million USD committed reftel for
three additional projects for improving budget and
procurement accountability processes in the Nigerian
Senate's Public Accounts Committee. The new Nigerian
Action Plan expands the January Senate proposal to
cover the House of Representatives too, effectively
building a National Assembly budget office. USAID
already has projects with the National Democratic
Institute in Nigeria's Senate and House to build the
legislature's capacity for transparent governance, and
these new projects would leverage what we are already
doing to promote transparency on budget preparation
into transparency and accountability on expenditure.

8. (U) FY2006 funds will work for these additional
Senate/National Assembly projects, if FY2005 INCLE
funds are not available. But the Senate/National
Assembly projects are of lesser priority than the EFCC
secondment and Accountant General projects already
approved by the Department in reftel for FY2005
funding, and the highest priority EFCC secondments will
need continued funding in FY2006 as well.

CAMPBELL

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