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Cablegate: Nigeria: Cg's Road Trip Highlights Enugu's

VZCZCXRO8191
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0060/01 0451340
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141340Z FEB 08
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9751
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 9483
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LAGOS 000060

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - HANDLE ACCORDINGLY
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W
TREASURY FOR DPETERS, RHALL, RABDULRAZAK
ENERGY FOR PERSON, GAY
COMMERCE FOR KBURRESS
STATE PASS USTR FOR LISER, AGAMA
STATE PASS TRANSPORTATION FOR KSAMPLE
STATE PASS OPIC FOR ZHAN, MSTUCKART, JEDWARDS
STATE PASS TDA FOR EEBONG, DSHUSTER
STATE PASS EXIM FOR JRICHTER
STATE PASS USAID FOR NFREEMAN, GBERTOLIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV SOCI SENV CASC NI PHUM
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: CG'S ROAD TRIP HIGHLIGHTS ENUGU'S
EDUCATIONAL SUCCESSES

Sensitive But Unclassified; Handle Accordingly.


1. (U) Summary: Consul General Donna Blair visited Enugu,
which claims the highest percentage of American citizen
residents of any state in Nigeria. The American Corner in
Enugu has done educational outreach for more than 1,000
students. Calvary Foundation, recipient of Democracy, Human
Rights and Labor (DHRL) grants, provides a range of
educational and health services. Community violence
prevented a visit to a project funded by the Ambassador's
Special Self Help Fund. End Summary.

2. (U) A young state created in 1991 from the old Anambra,
the capital city of Enugu was the capital of the former
Eastern Region. The state claims the largest coal deposit in
Nigeria. The highest percentage of American citizen residents
as well as the highest number of state residents spending
time in the United States are found here. Governor Sullivan
Chime's election had been overturned several days before the
Consul General's visit; there was little evidence of the
populace's views on the matter.

-----------------------------------------
U.S. Educational Outreach Helps Thousands
-----------------------------------------

3. (U) The Consul General delivered two computers to the
Shalom Academy and to the American Corner in Enugu as part of
the Mission's Adopt-a-School program. While at the American
Corner, she also spoke to approximately 70 members of civil
society about the contributions made by Martin Luther King,
Jr. to American society. The Enugu State Government oversees
the day-to-day running of the center where the American
Corner is located, and is an active partner to the Mission's
educational and outreach efforts in the state. Over the past
year, Educational Advisor Margaret Anyigbo has spoken to more
than one thousand students about studying in the United
States; she works closely with the Enugu State Education
Department in her efforts.

4. (U) Consul General Blair also met with Vice Chancellor
Chinedu Nebo of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and
several principal officers of the University. The university
today boasts an enrollment of over 20,000 students, Nebo told
the CG, and has added eight new lecture halls with six more
planned. Nebo warmly thanked the United States for its
support, and said the majority of the principal officers and
lecturers at the university were alumni of U.S. colleges.
This is reflective of Enugu State, which proportionally sends
more of its citizens to study in the United States than most
other Nigerian states. After the official reception, Consul
General Blair addressed 800 students and faculty to
commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Students recited
the "I Have a Dream" speech for the CG.

-------------------------------------------
Calvary Foundation Continues Excellent Work
-------------------------------------------

5. (U) Dr. and Mrs. Ernest Ugo, both physicians, hosted
Consul General Blair at their residence, and thanked her for
supporting the Calvary Foundation through DHRL. DHRL and
other grants have helped Calvary provide local high school
students with civic education, built administrative buildings
for the Calvary Foundation Vocational College, and helped
Calvary begin a day care center, nursery school and primary
school for disadvantaged children, and a human rights
institute that provides human rights training for youth.
Touring the Calvary Foundation School and the Calvary Bee
Keeping Project, the CG learned that more than ten state
governments have shown interest in the bee keeping venture.
The project encourages local honey and beeswax production

LAGOS 00000060 002 OF 002


using modern beekeeping techniques, Mrs. Ugo told the CG.
The Ugos are also the Directors of the Nigerian branch of the
International First Aid Society.

6. (U) In discussing their work and residence, the Ugos
shared that, rather than wait for the city, state or federal
government to provide an adequate road in their neighborhood,
they had spent personal funds to upgrade and repave the road.


--------------------------------------------- ----
Violence Aborts Planned Trip to Self Help Project
--------------------------------------------- ----

7. (U) A planned visit to an Ambassador's Special Self Help
Fund (SSH) project in Oruku Town Nkanu East had to be aborted
due to violence in the community. Oruku Town had used the
grant to build a three classroom addition at the
Comprehensive Secondary School for N3.7 million (or $28,900
at exchange rates in 2004 and 2005, when the grants were
awarded). The CG was told that that such low-level tension
is common; after several people are killed, the community
elders step in and calm the situation. Often several months
elapse before the next flare-up.

-------------------------------
The American Community in Enugu
-------------------------------

8. (U) During a town hall with approximately 30 members of
the American community, and consular wardens, the CG learned
of issues confronting the population here. As in most other
sites visited, great interest in a U.S. Consulate in the
eastern part of the country was expressed. The community is
concerned about communication, which is hindered by very poor
infrastructure. She was also received at the home of
International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumnus Mrs.
Gozie Udemezue, along with thirty members of the local
community including lawyers and other professionals. Many of
the attendees were long-term residents, including one who
moved to the area in 1952. The group expressed strong
interest in having more frequent consular visits to the area.

9. (U) (Note: A large number of U.S. citizens live in Enugu;
many families have a relative working, studying or living in
the United States. A large number of Nigerian doctors in the
U.S. come from Enugu State. The state government during the
First Republic and after the Biafran War granted thousands of
scholarships to Enugu residents to study in the United
States. End Note.)

10.(U) This cable has been cleared by Embassy Abuja.
BLAIR

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