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Cablegate: Nigeria's Speaker of the House to Visit the U.S.

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1939
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 8628
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
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RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
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RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

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AF/W FOR ASILSKI, DHEFLIN
DEPARTMENT PASS TO USTR-AGAMA, EXIM-JRICHTER, TDA-EEBONG
TREASURY FOR PETERS AND HALL
USDOC FOR 3317/ITA/OA/KBURRESS, 3130/USFC/OIO/ANESA/DHARRIS
DOE FOR CGAY AND GPERSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM ECON EINV NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA'S SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE TO VISIT THE U.S.

1. (U) This is an action request, please see paragraph 6.

2. (SBU) Summary: Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Oladimeji Bankole (of the ruling People's Democratic Party)
hosted a working lunch for Ambassador, PolCouns, EconCouns,
PolOff and USAID Officer. Bankole expressed interest in
visiting Washington February 18 - 22 to meet with Executive
branch officials, non-governmental organizations, and
representatives of the American business community. Bankole
will seek meetings with Legislative branch officials,
including Speaker Pelosi, at a later date, possibly in late
March. (Note: Bankole understands Congress will not be in
session February 18-22. End Note.) End Summary.

3. (SBU) Bankole would like to meet with members of the
Executive Branch, including representatives from State, NSC,
and USAID. The Speaker would also like to meet with members
of the American business community, including the Corporate
Council on Africa (CCA) and Business Council for
International Understanding (BCIU), to look for ways to
encourage American investment in the non-petroleum sector in
Nigeria. Post believes the Speaker would also benefit from
meeting with USAID-funded NGOs National Democratic Institute
(NDI), International Republican Institute (IRI), et al given
the Speaker's interest in political party reform.

4. (SBU) PAS is investigating the possibility of creating a
VolVis program for the Speaker's follow-up visit (we
understand that there is not enough time to implement a
program prior to his February trip). (FYI: In a January 24
conversation with PolCouns, Bankole said he was considering
dates in late March.) In addition to meetings with
appropriate Congressional leaders, such a PAS program could
facilitate meetings with the Library of Congress/CRS and
other program entities which AF/PPD or others could
recommend, and which could provide technical assistance on
capacity building. The Speaker stated he would be interested
in training opportunities for Nigerian legislators, which he
said the National Assembly would be willing to fund.

5. (SBU) Comment: Bankole came into office in November
following the removal of the past Speaker, Patricia Etteh,
because of corruption allegations. He and those who brought
him to office committed themselves to making the Nigerian
House of Representatives a far more independent and
significant body than the much browbeaten and often ignored
institution it had previously been. In the past, the House
usually rubber-stamped legislation coming from the executive;
now Bankole and his supporters want it take control of the
budget and act as a real check on the Presidency. End
comment.

6. (U) Action Request: Post requests Department's assistance
in arranging the suggested meetings for Bankole's February
visit.
SANDERS

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