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Cablegate: Nigeria: Fonmin On Niger Delta, Efcc

VZCZCXRO9152
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #1356/01 1981423
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 161423Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3360
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 0306
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 9591
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 001356

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W, INR/AA
DOE FOR GEORGE PERSON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/12/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL PM KCOR NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: FONMIN ON NIGER DELTA, EFCC

REF: A. SILSKI-SANDERS 07/10/08 E-MAIL (NOTAL)
B. ABUJA 1332
C. SECSTATE 70257 (NOTAL)
D. ABUJA 1331
E. ABUJA 1312
F. ABUJA 1347

Classified By: Political Counselor Walter Pflaumer for reasons 1.4. (b
& d).

1. (C) SUMMARY. Ambassador met with Nigerian Foreign
Minister Ojo Maduekwe on July 11 to demarche on Zimbabwe
(Refs A and B). She also took the occasion to execute
requested demarche on the Niger Delta, and address U.S.
concerns over recent redeployments at the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) (Refs C and D). FonMin
noted that Niger Delta Summit and Gambari's role were badly
handled, said that GON is looking for an international role
on oil bunkering like the Kimberley diamond process,
highlighting that a "name and shame" program would decrease
demand for bunkered oil. The Ambassador pointed out our
reservations on the effectiveness of a process like this and
noted the electronic bill of lading idea. The Ambassador
told FonMin that we are watching the recent EFCC
redeployments closely to judge any negative impact on the
institution's capacity, and that we want the EFCC to continue
to move in the direction of increased transparency and
improved efficiency. FonMin said he would raise these
concerns with EFCC Chairwoman Waziri during a courtesy call
she has requested. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Taking advantage of a July 11 meeting to present a
demarche on Zimbabwe (Refs A and B), the Ambassador also
delivered a requested demarche on the Niger Delta (Ref C).
FonMin was accompanied by Senior Special Assistant to the
President on Foreign Affairs Amb. Thaddeus Hart, Director of
the Office of the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs
(OHMFA) Emmanuel Ogunnaike, and Deputy Director of OHMFA Sola
Enikanolaiye. Ambassador was accompanied by PolDeputy
(notetaker).

DELTA: GON PLANS, USG ASSISTANCE
--------------------------------

3. (C) Ambassador noted recent reports that the much-touted
Niger Delta Summit (a cornerstone of the GON Delta policy)
may be delayed yet again by the removal of UN envoy Ibrahim
Gambari as chairman of the Niger Delta Summit Steering
Committee (Ref E). Ambassador voiced concern that the
process will be further slowed or, worse yet, stalled. While
we understood Nigeria's concerns to protect its own sovereign
rights, we urged the GON to change its thinking on the Delta
to include the international ramifications of its actions (or
inactions).

4. (C) The Ambassador noted that several offers of USG
assistance, some under the Gulf of Guinea Energy Security
Strategy (GGESS) process, had remained unanswered -- some for
up to a year. The Ambassador outlined the types of
assistance we have offered, including stockpile security
management, weapons tracing, aerial surveillance of petroleum
platforms, and training/equipment programs, some of which
would be fully-funded USG assistance and others of which
could be done on a reimbursable basis. FonMin asked for
details on unanswered offers of assistance; Ambassador agreed
to send more information. (Note: Ambassador sent an Aide
Memoire later that afternoon outlining USG offers.) FonMin
also asked Senior Special Assistant to the President on
Foreign Affairs Hart to check with the Ministry of Defense to
see what is holding up responses on these USG offers.

5. (C) The Ambassador asked for clarification of recent
public statements from President Yar'Adua referencing a
proposal to reduce oil bunkering, and also what the
President's vision was on addressing this issue. FonMin said
the GON is looking into a process similar to the Kimberley
diamond process. Such a "name and shame" program could
significantly reduce bunkering by reducing demand, he argued.
The Ambassador encouraged the GON to look as well at
international oil companies' proposal for electronic bills of
lading, which could be used to verify the origin of
petroleum, and added that the USG had its doubts about any
Kimberley-like process on oil.

EFCC: NEW CHAIRWOMAN, NEW STAFF
-------------------------------

6. (C) The Ambassador noted USG and broader international
concern that the recent redeployment of EFCC staff could
seriously affect the institution's capacity to fight
corruption (Refs C and D). She noted that some of the
individuals redeployed had received donor-sponsored
(including USG) training and that with these mass
redeployments, some of the capacity built up over years at
the EFCC would be lost. FonMin said he understood USG
concern. He confided that EFCC Chairwoman Waziri had
inheirited some staff with prejudices and questionable
loyalties when she took over. He commented that the
controversy left by the changes at the EFCC is "highly
unfortunate," as it has "left a trail of injuries." With any
controversy, he admitted, there are costs; he expressed his
hope that the operational capacity of the EFCC would not be
among those costs. The Ambassador reiterated the importance
of supporting the EFCC as an institution, without regard to
personalities.

7. (C) FonMin told Ambassador he had just received a courtesy
call request from Waziri. He noted that, whenever he had
taken over a new office, he had always been told that he must
have "his own team." His own experience, however, was that
keeping those with experience in the organization is much
more useful, and that they then become loyal employees as
well. He told Ambassador he will meet with Waziri and share
his experience with her, and also mention U.S. concerns.
(Note: In a subsequent meeting between Ambassador and Waziri,
these concerns were also raised. Waziri said that she had
found case files lacking evidence, leaks to the press by
certain individuals, and an unwillingness to truly improve
the EFCC from many of those she is redeploying, noting that
to date the press has highly exaggerated the numbers. End
note.)
SANDERS

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