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Cablegate: Nigeria: Nomination for the Secretary's Award

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ABUJA 000728

SIPDIS


E FOR UNDER-SECRETARY LARSON
AF FOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY KANSTEINER
ALSO FOR E/EB/CBA - NSMITH-NISSLEY


FROM AMBASSADOR JETER


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BEXP EINV ELAB ETRD SENV NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: NOMINATION FOR THE SECRETARY'S AWARD
FOR CORPORATE EXCELLENCE

REF: (A) STATE 55713, (B) STATE 84067, (C) STATE 93791


1. There are several American companies in Nigeria
that might qualify for the Secretary's Award for
Corporate Excellence; however, one stands heads and
shoulders above the rest. Chevron is the largest
single American investor in Nigeria and the second
largest producer of Nigerian oil. It is also a
distinguished "Corporate Ambassador of Goodwill".
Chevron's activities have attracted our attention, and
the attention of many others, through its charitable
outreach, social responsibility, and determination to
tackle and overcome some of the most intractable
social and economic problems that confront Nigeria. I
believe that Chevron Nigeria Limited is eminently
qualified for the Secretary's Award for Corporate
Excellence, and I hope that you will agree.


2. Chevron Nigeria is a unit of Chevron Corporation.
One of the world's largest integrated petroleum
enterprises, the company has operated in Nigeria since
1961. Chevron's strong commitment to corporate social
responsibility is reflected in its programs promoting
education, health, sustainable economic development
and humanitarian assistance. Most beneficiaries are
communities in the remote Niger Delta, an area rich in
oil and natural gas, and one which presents enormous
operational challenges and even larger problems of
public safety and security. During the past decade,
Chevron spent more than $30 million on water
facilities, electric power, landing jetties, roads,
school buildings, scholarships, books, laboratories,
teachers, health care, water transport, and civic
centers for the people of the troubled Niger Delta
region. In the past few years, Chevron decided to
more than double that amount, targeting $65 million
for community program activities and significantly
increasing the number of recipients.


3. Education is a key concern in Nigeria;
specifically, facilitating educational access while
halting the decline in educational quality in rural
schools. In the remote marshy regions of the Niger
Delta, school infrastructure is inadequate, poverty
widespread, and qualified and motivated teachers
scarce. Equally rare are teaching aids, textbooks, and
laboratory equipment.


4. To help resolve these problems, Chevron has
furnished and equipped 54 schools over the last ten
years. Working with Nigeria's National Youth Service
Corps (NYSC), Chevron has provided housing and medical
care to English, mathematics, and science teachers in
order to attract and retain them in the Delta's rural
areas. The results have been remarkable: increased
student attendance at schools, improved academic
performance, higher female student enrollment, and the
introduction of extra-curricular activities.


5. To encourage science education in secondary
schools and to support higher studies in engineering
and technology, Chevron sponsors science fairs and
competitions, and donates books, journals and
professional manuals. To its singular credit, Chevron
equipped a BioTechnology Center at the Federal
University of Technology in Yola, the only such center
in Nigeria. Moreover, Yola - located in Nigeria's
distant and remote Northeast - is far from Chevron
area of interest, the oil-producing Niger Delta.


6. Chevron also sponsors two scholarship programs:
Community Scholarships, for youngsters near its
operations; and National University Scholarships, open
to all Nigerian students pursuing full-time degrees in
Nigerian universities. Since 1993, Chevron has awarded
12,224 Community and 2,450 National University
scholarships.


7. As remarkable as these achievements may seem,
Chevron shows no sign of diminishing its engagement.
Partnering with the International Foundation for
Education and Self-Help (IFESH), a U.S.-based, non-
profit organization founded by the late Reverend Leon
Sullivan, Chevron commissioned the five-year Western
Niger Delta Development Program (WNDDP) two years ago.
WNDDP supports acquisition of technical skills,
educational infrastructure, micro-enterprise, HIV/AIDS
awareness, and conflict resolution.


8. Since WNDDP's inception, 260 young men and women
have been trained in welding and fabrication, business
development, marine services, computer literacy, and
secretarial studies; two primary school buildings and

SIPDIS
teachers' quarters are being built; some 250 small
businesses have received micro-loans. An impressive
100 percent loan recovery rate was recorded in the
program's first full cycle. WNDDP's loan portfolio has
grown from eight million to fourteen million naira
(from about $62,000 to $108,000) in just two years.
Plans call for increasing the number of participating
communities from four to thirty, with a commensurate
growth in funding.


9. Chevron is also supporting another technical
skills acquisition program through which 50 young men
and women are trained annually in welding and metal
fabrication, computer literacy, and secretarial
studies. Graduates find jobs in the oil industry, set
up their own businesses, or otherwise greatly enhance
their prospects for public and private sector
employment.


10. Chevron Nigeria is unmatched as a responsible
U.S. corporate citizen in Nigeria. With its current
budget of over $65 million and 50 engineering and
community development staff, Chevron Nigeria works
with non-governmental organizations and local
governments to support sustainable community economic
growth and development. The goal: profitable
enterprises that can be turned over to community-based
owners.


11. Chevron Nigeria is positively involved in
providing primary and secondary health care to the
people of the Delta. Scheduled visits by the
RiverBoat Clinic (RBC)--which has a full complement of
doctors, nurses and health assistants--ensure regular
health care to slightly more than three thousand
people in the Niger Delta. Most of them live more than
100 kilometers from the nearest government-provided
health facility. Central to Chevron's community
healthcare initiative, RBC provides health care to
remote, often inaccessible communities in the Delta,
where typically there are no alternative services.


12. Chevron is acutely aware that HIV/AIDS is a
medical, social and business issue that affects every
aspect of life, and future prospects for Nigeria's
social, economic, and political development. Its
Chevron Workplace AIDS Prevention Program (CWAPP)
focuses on peer education, community-based prevention,
condom distribution, and training for supervisors,
managers and union leaders. Since the late 1990s,
Chevron has participated in World AIDS Day and the
International AIDS Candlelight Memorial. Recognizing
Chevron's exceptional service, President Obasanjo
recently designated Chevron's Managing Director Co-
Chair of Nigeria's public-private sector alliance in
the fight against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. Chevron is
also a member of Nigeria's National Action Committee
on AIDS (NACA), where it is exploring possibilities to
apply core corporate competencies in communications,
marketing, and organization to NACA's programs to
combat HIV/AIDS.


13. The target of Chevron's Adolescent Reproductive
Health Program (CHARP) is its employees' children
between the ages of 12-19. Truly innovative, Chevron
relies on its "edutainment" to reach these youngsters
in ways they understand. Some 200 children and parents
have participated in annual Chevron-sponsored HIV/AIDS
workshops. Many of these people have become members of
Chevron's Lifeline Adolescent Reproductive Education
Klub (CLARK). Putting on dramatic plays and poetry
readings, they serve as community role models and
resources for peers and parents alike.


14. In addition to these health-related activities,
Chevron Nigeria also partners with the Carter Center
to combat river blindness and to sponsor primary
health care programs for primary school children in
its area of operation.


15. Equally important has been Chevron's humanitarian
assistance. Frequent inter-ethnic and political
rivalries have often led to violent conflicts near its
operations. In the last four years, Chevron Nigeria
has helped airlift more than 4,000 local villagers to
safety. Two weeks ago, Chevron airlifted more than
2,000 villagers to safety after their villages had
been attacked and destroyed by a rival ethnic group.
After airlifting them to safety, the company also
provided food assistance and temporary shelter, in
collaboration with the Nigerian Government and local
NGOs. Its medical personnel have worked with local
leaders to provide relief services for internally
displaced persons seeking refuge at Chevron
facilities.


16. Much more could be written about Chevron's
qualifications for the 2003 Secretary of State's Award
for Corporate Excellence. Suffice it to say that
through its activities in Nigeria, Chevron has
exemplified the highest standards of conduct with
respect to good corporate citizenship, exemplary
business practices, and innovation in its overseas
operations. Its community-focused activities have won
Chevron a special place of corporate distinction in
Nigeria. Equally as important, its activities have
also projected a positive image of the United States
and helped to advance American foreign policy
objectives. Chevron's programs help to improve and
save lives.


17. I can think of no more fitting way for the
Department to recognize Chevron's contributions than
by selecting it this year for the Secretary's Award
for Corporate Excellence.


JETER

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