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Cablegate: Southern Nigeria: September Economic Briefs

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PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #1281 2891323
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161323Z OCT 06
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8049
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 7921
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC

UNCLAS LAGOS 001281

SIPDIS

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STATE PASS FAA FOR ACONLEY,
TRANSPORTATION FOR FAA; DAKAR PLEASE PASS TO FAA REP ED
JONES; ROME PLEASE PASS TO TSA REP JOHN HALINSKI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EPET EAIR EINV PREL NI
SUBJECT: SOUTHERN NIGERIA: SEPTEMBER ECONOMIC BRIEFS


1. (SBU) Summary: The Government of Nigeria (GON) is in the
process of acquiring instrument landing systems and
visibility equipment for the nation's airports. Nigeria's
education crisis continues to hamper the efforts of U.S.
companies to find staff. A DHL Boeing 727 overshot the
runway at Lagos' main airport. Bonny Island Liquid Natural
Gas (LNG), slated to be the world's largest LNG plant,
dismissed 500 workers involved in violence at the plant
construction site. End Summary.

Nigerian Government Plans to Buy NAVAIDS
----------------------------------------

2. (U) The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) will
acquire new visibility and instrument landing systems (ILS)
worth 18 million euros. NAMA plans to deploy 10 Doppler VHF
omni-directional ranging (DVORs) and 10 ILS systems to
enhance air safety. NAMA is still exploring financing
options for this equipment. Currently, most domestic
airports in Nigeria, including those that routinely
experience heavy or unpredictable weather, are not equipped
to allow pilots to make instrument landings.

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Education Crisis Hampers U.S. Company Hiring
--------------------------------------------

3. (U) Ms. Juliet Anammah, of Accenture accounting, told a
September meeting of the American Business Council in Lagos
that Nigeria's education crisis continues to hamper the
efforts of U.S. businesses in Lagos to find sufficient
numbers of good employees. Citing statistics provided by the
Minister of Education, Anammah said that Nigeria's 55,346
primary and secondary schools can only accommodate 23.2
million out of a total 55.8 million students of primary and
secondary school age. Universities in Nigeria only have the
capacity to admit 147,000 students per year. Technical
training is inadequate, especially in the fastest-growing
sectors of the economy such as telecommunications, oil and
gas and construction.

DHL Aircraft in Minor Accident at Lagos Airport
--------------------------------------------- --

4. (U) A DHL Boeing 727 overshot the domestic runway at
Murtala Mohammed International Airport on 8 September. Poor
visibility due to heavy rains was blamed for the accident, in
which there were no injuries. In-bound and out-bound flights
were delayed for several days while airport management
arranged to have the aircraft towed off the runway.

Bonny Dismissals Peaceful
-------------------------

5. (SBU) Bonny Island Liquid Natural Gas managers dismissed
500 Nigerian employees during the month of September; the
dismissals were conducted without unrest. The dismissed
employees had been involved in threats and assaults against
other employees, or had participated in rioting which stopped
construction on the plant August 19. In anticipation of
retaliatory unrest, the plant alerted worker union
representatives, local, state and federal government
officials and chiefs of local communities, and augmented site
security with local police. U.S. companies are engaged in
engineering and construction on the plant, which will be the
largest LNG plant in the world upon completion.
BROWNE

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