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Cablegate: Global Context Section of the Qddr

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUJA #2187/01 3371838
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031838Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7659
INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 2434

UNCLAS ABUJA 002187

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

S/P - TANDREWS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL SOCI EAID ECON
SUBJECT: GLOBAL CONTEXT SECTION OF THE QDDR

REF: A. A) STATE 120172
B. B) ABUJA 02170

1. (U) Ref A requested input from the field regarding the
global section of the QDDR. Mission Nigeria's answers pegged
to Ref A para 4 follow:

A) TO WHAT DEGREE WILL/CAN TECHNOLOGY EMPOWER INDIVIDUALS, OR
CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE HOST COUNTRY, TO EXERCISE A MORE ACTIVE
ROLE IN PUBLIC LIFE?

In the short term, the degree is quite limited due to the
severe infrastructure constraints in Nigeria, ranging from
telecommunications to power. That said, the
telecommunications market is rapidly expanding in Nigeria --
by some measures, the biggest in Africa -- and scheduled
upgrades for bandwidth should improve and expand Internet
access. In addition, many Nigerians, especially in urban
areas, are IT and Internet savvy, and there is strong
potential for growth in social networks and similar tools.

B) WHAT ATTITUDE DO CRITICAL PUBLICS IN THE HOST COUNTRY
DISPLAY TOWARD THE SO-CALLED RISING POWERS -- INDIA, CHINA,
AND BRAZIL -- AND HOW DO THEY PERCEIVE OTHER IMPORTANT
INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS, INCLUDING KEY INTERNATIONAL
ORGANIZATIONS?

Nigeria has solid historical and significant commercial
relationships with India and Brazil. There is a rapidly
expanding Chinese presence in Nigeria, though Chinese efforts
to secure major infrastructure contracts and become a major
player in the Nigerian energy sector have basically come up
short. Many Nigerians respect China for its economic
development and rising international stature, but Ref B notes
the serious reservations many Nigerian business entities have
about China, particularly in the context of dissimilar
corporate cultures and the difficulty of pursuing commercial
or labor grievances with Chinese firms. Many Nigerians
generally respect international organizations, but there are
pockets of leftists in the south who retain traditional
leftist suspicions of IFIs and of conservative Islamists
largely in the north who are suspicious of Western influence.
UN agencies are generally the most non-controversial in
Nigeria.

C) WHAT DOES THE HOST COUNTRY IDENTIFY AS THE MOST IMPORTANT
ISSUES (BOTH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL) CRITICAL TO ITS OWN
DEVELOPMENT AND TO INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT WRIT LARGE?

Injecting more transparency and accountability into the
electoral process and the management of the energy and power
sectors are generally cited as the country's top priorities.
At the international level, there is broad but often shallow
support for G-77 positions on development issues.

D) WHAT IS THE HOST COUNTRY POSITION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
ISSUES, OR ON ANY RESOURCE CONFLICT QUESTIONS? WHAT STEPS
ARE THE HOST COUNTRY GOVERNMENT TAKING TO DEAL WITH POTENTIAL
FUTURE DEMOGRAPHIC CHALLENGES?

The GON supports efforts to combat climate change and cites
as one example of its commitment its plans to reduce
widespread gas flaring in the Niger Delta and the efforts to
develop a national action plan on protecting the environment.
The plan is in the draft stages. Nigeria's climate change
position is integrated into the African position, which is
that developing countries should compensate the developing
countries for the alleged environmental damages caused by the
developed world. In 2009, the government took a number of
steps, including a successful amnesty program for Niger Delta
militants and the start of a dialogue with community and
Delta stakeholders, to end violence and extensive shut-in
production in the country's main oil producing region. The
ultimate success of these efforts to end militancy and
violence, however, remains in doubt. The Nigerian government
Qviolence, however, remains in doubt. The Nigerian government
has not taken effective steps to deal with its demographic
challenges, which remain huge.

E) TO WHAT EXTENT DOES "BACKSLIDING" POSE A THREAT TO LOCAL
DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT (OR TO WHAT DEGREE DOES THE COUNTRY
PERCEIVE THIS AS A THREAT ELSEWHERE)?

Since the return of civilian rule in 1999, elections in
Nigeria have progressively deteriorated in terms of fairness
and credibility. Many observers believe that the 2011
presidential elections will not reverse this trend without
major electoral reforms, such as separating the Independent
National Election Commission from the executive branch of
government. Thus far, the government has expressed support
for several relatively minor reforms but has balked at
implementing the key recommendations of an Electoral Reform
Commission report issued in 2008. Nigerians generally take
little notice of political developments or trends in the
region, in part because they view Nigeria as the natural
leader Africa. However, some politically sophisticated
Nigerians are aware of and, to some extent, jealous of
Ghana's recent electoral success and some, including
President Yar'Adua, have taken a firm stance against the
marginalization of democracy in Niger and Guinea.
SANDERS

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