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Cablegate: Subject: Nigeria: Ustda Visit a Success Story

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 002686

SIPDIS


DEPARTMENT, PLEASE PASS TO USAID, USTDA, EXIM, USTR AND
BOATENG AT FCC


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD ECON EAGR ECPS EAID EAIR EINV EPET EMIN KPAO NI
SUBJECT: SUBJECT: NIGERIA: USTDA VISIT A SUCCESS STORY


1. Summary. United States Trade and Development Agency
(TDA) Special Assistant for Projects Thomas Hardy completed
agreements for feasibility studies for fertilizer and housing
projects worth $722,000, discussed programs with the
Ministers of Solid Minerals and Agriculture, and briefed
senior staff of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council
(NIPC) on TDA programs. Hardy also pursued follow up
meetings on TDA potential programs with the Nigerian
Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Railway Corporation
(NRC), Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Ogun State, Nigerian
Stock Exchange (NSE), and the Nigerian Airspace Management
Agency (NAMA). End Summary.


-------------------------------
SIGNING OF TWO GRANT AGREEMENTS
-------------------------------


2. On August 21 a grant agreement of $272,000 to conduct a
feasibility study for a proposed Private Long-term Mortgage
Corporation was signed by the U.S-Nigeria Development
Institute and Ambassador Jeter on behalf of the TDA. The
Ambassador also signed a grant agreement with Akwa-Ibom State
Development Corporation for $450,000 to conduct a feasibility
study for a fertilizer complex using natural gas. The latter
project, if feasible, would not only be beneficial to the
agricultural sector but would be environmentally sound by
helping to reduce the amount of gas flared into the
atmosphere. The signing received positive coverage from
national radio, television and in the printed press.


----------------------------------------
MEETING WITH MINISTER FOR SOLID MINERALS
----------------------------------------
3. On August 22, USTDA Thomas Hardy met the Minister for
Solid Minerals Modupe Adelaja, Ministry Directors and heads
of parastatals. The meeting was covered by major dailies and
the national television network. Minister Adelaja outlined
various areas where the TDA could help. The Minister
proposed an airborne geo-physical survey, a feasibility study
for a coal-fired power plant, and assistance in the
development of tantalite, gold, coal, lead/zinc, and
industrial minerals.


--------------------------------------------
MEETING WITH THE NIGERIAN MINING CORPORATION
--------------------------------------------


4. In a separate meeting with the Managing Director of the
Nigerian Mining Corporation Taslim Jimoh sought TDA
assistance in the development of tantalite. Jimoh confirmed
that Nigeria had large deposits of the mineral and hoped
equipment required for its development could be imported from
the United States.


-------
THE NCC
-------


5. Hardy met with the senior staff of the NCC. The NCC
proposed two follow-on projects to their spectrum analysis
survey, specifically to help identify radio frequency
squatters and to develop the existing right of way with the
Nigerian Railway Corporation for laying optic fiber
telecommunication networks.


---
FHA
---


6. Federal Housing Authority Managing Director Ibrahim
Mustapha discussed a feasibility study for constructing
housing for the foreign diplomatic community. The location
of the project, financing and the eventual customer were not
clearly defined by the end of the meeting.


--------------------
OTHER ABUJA MEETINGS
--------------------


7. Hardy met with Agriculture Minister Adamu Bello and
discussed possible future collaboration, including meeting
with a TDA team that was coming to Nigeria in September to
identify potential agricultural projects. There was an
informal meeting with the Chairman of the Nigerian Railway
Corporation, as follow-up to a meeting in Lagos. Hardy also
briefed the senior staff of the Nigerian Investment Promotion
Council (NIPC) on TDA activities and renewed contacts with
Chairman Kola Daisi.


Lagos Meetings


----------
OGUN STATE
----------


8. Hardy met the Commissioner of Finance for Ogun State to
discuss the ongoing State Sugar Project. TDA already
provided funding for the project but needed the Commissioner
to sign a revised contract. The Commissioner anticipated the
contract would be signed and sent to the American company
conducting the feasibility study by the beginning of
September. Hardy and the Commissioner also discussed
potential technical assistance for a cement factory.
Currently, TDA is waiting for feedback from an American
consultant on the viability of the project. If the report is
positive, TDA will fund a US company to provide technical
assistance to develop the plant.


----------------------------------
NIGERIAN RAILWAY CORPORATION (NRC)
----------------------------------


9. Hardy met A.A. Abubakar, Managing Director of the NRC to
discuss TDA funding for needed improvements and upgrades to
the national rail system. The NRC is completing work on a
25-year vision statement. Hardy expressed optimism that TDA
could fund feasibility studies for improvements outlined in
the vision statement. Abubakar plans on following up with
TDA during an upcoming trip to Washington.


-----------------------------
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE (NSE)
-----------------------------


10. Hardy met with Kene Okafor, Head of Research and
Information Technology for the NSE to discuss funding for
improvements in its electronic trading system. The NSE
requested technical assistance for software upgrades and the
creation of an off-site back-up system. Hardy suggested that
the NSE send TDA a letter outlining their needs for funding
consideration.


------------------------------------------
NIGERIAN AIRSPACE MANAGEMENT AGENCY (NAMA)
------------------------------------------


11. Hardy briefly met with officials from NAMA to discuss
potential system upgrades but determined that assistance
already provided by the US Department of Transportation was
adequate to meet NAMA,s planned upgrades.


--------------------
BOEING INTERNATIONAL
--------------------


12. Hardy met with Thomas Frisby, Regional Representative
for Boeing, to discuss potential projects in conjunction with
Nigeria Airways. Frisby advised against TDA involvement at
the moment, as Nigeria Airway,s future is uncertain.


-------
COMMENT
-------


13. Hardy,s reception was warm, as word of the success of
previous TDA grants has spread. The Government of Nigeria
(GON) is looking to the United States to help develop the
solid minerals sector, continue with technical assistance for
telecommunications regulation, and help development of large
scale capital intensive projects. TDA grants (and the United
States private sector participation in them) have proved to
be efficient investments, which differ from other development
projects in that they can provide results in a period of six
to eighteen months. They have also generated significant,
positive media attention publicly underscoring our commitment
to be an active partner in Nigeria,s economic reform and
development. As such, the grants have been very useful
public diplomacy tools. End Comment.
JETER

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