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Cablegate: Niger Delta: Vp Engages the Donors

VZCZCXRO0887
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #1391/01 1831056
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 021056Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0090
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW 0414
RUEHCD/AMCONSUL CIUDAD JUAREZ 0415
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 7280
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 001391

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DOE FOR CAROLYN GAY
STATE PLEASE PASS USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL ENRG NI
SUBJECT: NIGER DELTA: VP ENGAGES THE DONORS


ABUJA 00001391 001.2 OF 002


THIS MESSAGE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR INTERNET
DISTRIBUTION.

1. (U) Summary: Nigerian Vice President Goodluck Jonathan
met with representatives of lead donor agencies on June 27 to
consult with them regarding the Niger Delta. The Vice
President said that stabilizing the Delta is his top
priority, but offered little in the way of concrete plans or
programs. While stressing their commitment to Delta
development, the donors insisted that their comparative
advantage was not to bring financial resources but rather to
give technical advice and other support in order to help the
states and national government better utilize existing
resources. USAID Mission Director highlighted existing U.S.
assistance efforts in the Delta and encouraged the GON to
increase transparency in its development programs to build
citizen confidence. Dr. Jonathan promised that the dialogue
between the GON and donors will continue in coming months and
mentioned the possibility of convening an Ambassadorial
meeting on the Niger Delta in early July. End Summary.

2. (U) Vice President Goodluck Jonathan invited the main
donor agencies to a June 27 meeting on development in the
Niger Delta. He described the meeting as an attempt to
"engage key donor partners on the Delta." The country
directors of USAID, DFID, the World Bank, and UNDP all
attended the meeting. The Vice President was accompanied by
one of his special assistants, Akachukwu Nwankpo. Dr.
Jonathan said that stabilizing the Delta is his top priority.
He indicated that his intention is to talk to criminal
elements in the Delta and ask them to put down their weapons
and work with government to improve conditions in the region.
The Vice President asked the donors to continue assisting
the GON to develop the region, and he stressed the importance
of employment creation as a way to draw young men out of
militancy. He noted, however, that it would be very
difficult to create sufficient jobs in the short term. The
Vice President believes that in the long term, most militants
would respond to job opportunities, but he acknowledged that
the few remaining hard core militants would have to be dealt
with by the security services. The administration also noted
the need for additional road contruction in the region, to
reduce the number of remote, unreachable areas cut off from
both economic opportunities and the security services.
Though he admitted that the GON and the state governments
have a great deal of money at their disposal for development
projects, Jonathan told the donors that even this money is
not enough to fund the development needs of the Niger Delta
region, and he asked the donors to continue to fund projects
in the region.

3. (U) USAID Acting Mission Director focused her remarks on
continuing and strengthening existing structures, such as the
Gulf of Guinea Energy Security Process, public-private
partnerships to generate employment, and USAID's ongoing
partnership with Bayelsa state government. She emphasized
the need to determine one common framework for sustainable
development in the Delta, rather than different arrangements
with each of the states in the region. The acting Mission
Director also asked the Vice President to consider increasing
transparency of both state and NDDC resources as a way to
build the confidence of the region's citizens. She suggested
that existing USAID programs in the Delta focusing on
agriculture, finance sector reform, governance/civil society,
and job training can help to build capacity at the state
level.

4. (SBU) All the donor agencies stressed that their
comparative advantage is not to bring additional financial
resources to the Delta, but rather to give technical advice
and other support in order to help the states and national
government better utilize existing resources for development.
The Vice President was insistent that the funds held by the
states and the Niger Delta Development Corporation (NDDC) are
not enough to achieve major projects like road construction,
electricity generation, water treatment, and purchase of
marine vessels. The World Bank said that they would consider
providing credit for such activities if the current
administration asked them to do so. USAID and the other

ABUJA 00001391 002.2 OF 002


donors stood firm that they could not bring additional
financial resources to the Delta at this time.

5. (SBU) Though the meeting offered little in the way of
concrete new plans or programs by the GON to address Niger
Delta development, the donors were pleased to see that the
Vice President is dedicated to addressing problems in the
region. Both the government and the donors agree on the need
for employment generation in the region, despite diverging
views on whether additional donor money is needed for the
Delta at this time. Dr. Jonathan promised that this dialogue
would continue regularly in future and he mentioned that an
Ambassadorial meeting on the Delta could be convened in early
July.
CAMPBELL

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