US embassy cable - 01ABUJA2339

NIGERIA: PREPARATIONS FOR THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Identifier: 01ABUJA2339
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA2339 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-09-18 13:41:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: SENV ECON EFIN ENRG ETRD KPAO NI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
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 002339 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPT FOR OES BRUCE EHRNMAN 
LAGOS FOR ECON, POL, PAS (NWANKWO) 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SENV, ECON, EFIN, ENRG, ETRD, KPAO, NI 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: PREPARATIONS FOR THE WORLD SUMMIT ON 
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 
 
 
REF: (A) STATE 128584 (B) STATE 107505 
 
 
1. On August 16, the GON inaugurated the National Committee 
on the World Summit on Sustainable Development.  Chaired by 
the Minister of Environment, the Committee is comprised of 10 
ministries including Environment, Health, Transport, 
Commerce, Agriculture, Education and Water Resources.  Each 
Ministry has been instructed to establish in-house technical 
committees to examine the Agenda 21 issues that fall in their 
purview. Four sub-committees have been established to oversee 
the work of the technical committees as follows: 
 
 
-- Toxic Chemicals and Waste Management with technical 
committees on toxic chemicals; hazardous wastes; industry and 
environment; and solid waste management. 
 
 
-- Implementation Strategies with technical committees on 
education, public awareness and training; and information and 
communication for decision-making. 
 
 
-- Social and Economic Dimensions with technical committees 
on poverty; human settlements; health; trade and environment; 
and atmosphere. 
 
 
-- Conservation of Natural Resources with technical 
committees on management of forests and other land resources; 
sustainable agriculture and rural development; conservation 
of biodiversity; coastal and marine resources; and water 
resources. 
 
 
2. In a meeting September 12 with Assistant Director M.K. 
Ibrahim, Second United Nations Divsision, Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs, EconOff learned that the GON had also established a 
fifth sub-committee examining the issue of good governance, 
particularly institutional mechanisms, rule of law, human 
rights and transparency/accountability.  Ibrahim said the GON 
recognized that good governance would be a focus issue for 
many developed countries, adding that "nations cannot 
participate in today's world without good governance."  When 
asked whether Nigeria would put forward its own agenda, 
Ibrahim commented that he expected the nations of the 
sub-region to reach a common approach at the sub-regional 
conference scheduled to take place October 1-3 in Abidjan. 
 
 
3. Comment.  Nigeria faces many challenges in achieving good 
governance as the country recovers from decades of military 
dictatorship and sore neglect of the nation's institutions 
and infrastructure.  The judiciary is widely considered to be 
corrupt and incapable of efficiently processing claims. 
There is insufficient capacity to enforce national laws and 
regulations, which sometimes contradict each other and are 
often not harmonized (e.g., environmental protection 
legislation) may conflict with each other.  The physical 
infrastructure of the country has deteriorated -- power and 
water supplies are far below demand and telephones reach only 
2 percent of the population. Public tendering, while 
seemingly transparent at the onset, typically concludes in a 
cloud of obscurity.  The political will exists to tackle some 
of these problems, such as legal harmonization and some 
infrastructure improvements, but political realities on the 
ground make significant changes to the political-economic 
status quo unlikely in the short term. 
 
 
4. Comment Continued.  There are no specific host country 
sensitivities to good governance; most Nigerians acknowledge 
(and lament) that the country lacks critical institutional 
capacity and suffers from endemic corruption.  Mission 
officers frequently raise issues of good governance with the 
GON.  However, GON officials believe they are making progress 
on these problems, and, in some areas, they are.   Therefore, 
in discussions with Nigeria on the WSSD, the Department 
should recognize the Obasanjo Administration's efforts to 
improve governance. 
 
 
5. Comment Continued.  Host country priorities relative to 
good governance are to reduce low-level corruption, improve 
internal security through reform of the national police and 
improve the investment climate.  Through the IMF Stand-by 
Arrangement, the GON has also made progress on identifying 
redundant civil servants and auditing GON capital projects. 
There has been little emphasis, however, on reforming the 
judiciary or rooting out higher-level corruption. 
 
 
6. Comment Continued.  Through USAID, the USG is providing 
Nigeria with over $100 million in FY01 in programs that 
contribute directly or indirectly to improved governance. 
These areas include health, education, conflict mitigation, 
law enforcement, privatization, fiscal and monetary policy, 
intellectual property rights, trade and tariff policy and 
economic policy coordination. 
Andrews 

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