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Cablegate: Letter From President Obasanjo to President Bush

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 001163

SIPDIS

AF/W FOR DAN EPSTEIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID NI AID
SUBJECT: LETTER FROM PRESIDENT OBASANJO TO PRESIDENT BUSH
ANNOUNCING NOMINATION FOR AFRICAN DEVEOLPMENT BANK
PRESIDENCY

1. (U) Following is the text of a letter from President
Obasanjo to President Bush seeking the USG's support for the
GON's nomination of Mr. Olasbisi O. Ogunjobi to be the next
President of the African Development Bank. Biographical
information on Ogunjobi is provided following the text of
President Obasanjo's letter. Letter was received at the
Embassy on June 27. Signed original has been sent to AF/W by
registered pouch number 2361956.

2. (U) Begin Text:

June 16, 2004

His Excellency,
Mr. George Bush,
President of the United States of America
White House,
Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Dear President,

The African Development Bank (ADB), as you well know, is our
foremost international financial institution in the continent
today. Since the establishment of strong partnership with
the Non-Regional member countries, the ADB had gone through
many phases and made significant strides in becoming a
credible international financial institution for the economic
development of Africa. The Bank's recent progress in terms
of its financial performance, strong shareholders support and
the institutional reforms undertaken by the Boards of
Directors and the Management clearly indicate that the Bank
has not only matured, but also, has the financial and human
resource base required for meeting its development mandate
for the continent.

To this end and, in recognition of the Bank's important role,
that the Heads of State Implementation Committee of the New
Partnership for the Development of Africa (NEPAD) initiative
designated ADB as the lead agency for Infrastructure and
Banking and Financial Standards. It is gratifying to note
that the Bank has been very supportive of the NEPAD
Secretariat and is discharging the assigned responsibilities

SIPDIS
creditably.

Against this background, I wish to bring to the kind
attention of Your Excellency that the tenure of office of the
incumbent President of the Bank, Mr. Omar Kabbaj, a national
of the Kingdom of Morocco, will expire in mid-2005, having
served the maximum permissible two-term mandate of ten (10)
years. In this connection, I strongly believe that all
shareholders should work to ensure a smooth succession plan.

In my view, the Bank will require a new President that can
sustain, institutionalize and build on the laudable
achievements of the Bank under the leadership of Mr. Kabbaj.
Apart from the proven competence of such a new President, the
candidate for the post should be very familiar with the
institution's policies and operations as well as enjoy the
confidence and support of the African countries and the major
shareholders such as your country.

In view of our close working relations on several bilateral
and international issues of common interest to our two
countries, I wish to inform Your Excellency of my proposal to
nominate and seek your personal endorsement and support for a
Nigerian candidate in the person of Mr. Olabisi Ogunjobi as
the next ADB President. Mr. Ogunjobi is currently the
Vice-President, Operations, West and Central Africa of the
Bank. He has over thirty-three (33) years of international
financial and development banking experience. Out of this
rich and long-standing international banking profile, he
garnered twenty-six (26) years experience in the ADB, serving
in various professional and senior management positions.
Before his appointment as a Vice-President in early 2002, he
had served as Director for several departments for eleven
(11) years. He has been on of the key architects of the
recent achievements of the Bank. Prior to joining the ADB,
he was from 1976-77, Adviser at the International North-South
Dialogue in Paris, France. He also served as a Senior
Economist at the Central Bank of Nigeria from 1971-1975. A
brief summary of his profile is attached for your perusal.

I sincerely believe that with your valued personal
endorsement and the strong backing of your country, we can
together mobilize the support of other shareholders to ensure
the election of Mr. Ogunjobi as the next President in the
service of our Bank.

While looking forward to your early and favourable response,
please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my esteemed
and highest consideration.

Yours Sincerely,

/signature/

Olusegun Obasanjo

3. (U) End text of letter.

4. (U) Begin text of Ogunjobi bio:

Mr. Olabisi O. Ogunjobi has since 2002 held the position of
Vice President, Operations for West and Central Africa
regions of the African Development Bank. He has 33 years of
national and international financial and development banking
experience. During his 26-year career in the Bank, he worked
in the Research and Policy Planning and Operations
departments covering West, Central, North and Southern
regions of Africa. From 1984-1990, he served as the Bank's
Regional Representative for Southern Africa and from 1991 to
2001 he held the positions of Director, Country Programs for
West Africa; Director, Country Operations for North Africa;
and Director, Operations and Policies Review Department. He
also served as the Operations Advisor to the Vice-President
Operations.

Mr. Ogunjobi possesses hands on operational and management
experience in the Bank for directing, supervising and
coordinating the implementation of the Bank Group activities
and portfolio. He participated in the resource mobilization
and replenishment negotiations and Mid-Term Reviews of the
African Development Fund from (ADF 1V to ADF 1X) that is,
from 1986 to date.

He spearheaded the conception, adoption and implementation of
several operations and policy initiatives in the Bank
including the reduction of the Bank's commitment fees to
ensure competitiveness of ADB resources; the introduction of
the non-sovereign guarantees loans; and the Rural Water
Supply and Sanitation Initiative. He was closely associated
with the formulation of the Bank Group strategic orientation
documents, ranging from Five Year Operations Program of the
1980's to the Bank's Vision of 1999 and the current Strategic
Plan from 2003-2007.

As Vice-President, Operations for West and Central Africa of
the Bank he has oversight responsibility for the Bank Group
operations in 26 countries in the two regions in the sectors
of Agriculture and Rural Development, Infrastructure and
Public Utility as well as Human Resources Development. He
chairs the Senior Management Committee for operation in the
regions and in the absence of the President, on several
occasions he served as the Acting President and Chairman of
the Board of Directors.

Mr. Ogunjobi was born in Nigeria in 1947. He graduated in
Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria (B.Sc.) and
holds a postgraduate Master of Arts degree in International
Development Studies from Bradford University in the United
Kingdom. Prior to joining the ADB, he served from 1976-1977
as Adviser to the international North-South Dialogue in
Paris, France and worked in the Research Department of the
Central Bank of Nigeria from 1971-1995 (sic) as Senior
Economist. He has held several corporate Board appointments
including serving on the Boards of Directors of Zimbabwe
Development Bank, Development Bank of Zambia and Afrexim Bank
Cairo, Egypt. He holds traditional Chieftaincy titles from
Nigeria and Cameroon. He is a founder of an Education
Development Foundati

5. (U) End text.
CAMPBELL

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