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Cablegate: Nigeria: Delta State Pursues Private Investment In

VZCZCXRO0224
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0789/01 3611232
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271232Z DEC 07
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9656
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 9400
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 0160
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH AFB UK
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LAGOS 000789

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - HANDLE ACCORDINGLY
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W, INR/AA, DS/IP/AF, DS/ICI/PII, DS/DSS/OSAC,
CA/OCS/ACS/AF
OSLO FOR HELENA SCHRADER
DOE FOR GPERSON, CAROLYN GAY
TREASURY FOR ASEVERENS, SRENENDER, DFIELDS
COMMERCE FOR KBURRESS
STATE PASS USTR FOR ASST USTR FLISER
STATE PASS TRANSPORTATION FOR MARAD
STATE PASS OPIC FOR ZHAN AND MSTUCKART
STATE PASS TDA FOR NCABOT
STATE PASS EXIM FOR JRICHTER
STATE PASS USAID FOR GWEYNAND AND SLAWAETZ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL SENV NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: DELTA STATE PURSUES PRIVATE INVESTMENT IN
WASTE MANAGEMENT & FORESTRY; LITTLE REGULATION

1. (SBU) Summary: The Delta State Ministry of Environment is
looking for assistance from donor agencies and private sector
investment to spearhead projects such as erosion control,
reforestation for timber, and waste management. The Delta
State Waste Management Board, which falls under the purview
of the Ministry of Environment, operates 27 trucks in 17
towns throughout the state but because waste management and
recycling are capital intensive, the Board is also trying to
partner with the private sector. End Summary.

-------------------------------------
Assistance for Ecology & Conservation
-------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Commissioner Lawrence Osiegbu of the Delta State
Ministry of Environment admitted his Ministry has a "little
bit of a problem" funding its projects and he, formerly a
private businessman in Lagos, said the Ministry welcomes
external assistance and investment. The Ministry of
Environment is responsible for sanitation/waste management,
ecology (erosion, flood control and oil spills), forestry and
conservation. Osiegbu reasoned since Lagos receives
assistance from the World Bank, Delta should as well. He
also implied international oil companies (IOCs) such as
Chevron should create conservation centers in Delta State, as
they had in Lagos.

3. (U) Osiegbu said the Ministry's ecology department
liaises with IOCs and communities affected by oil spills. He
applauded Chevron's quick response and open communication
with the Ministry in the event of oil spills and on other
matters.

--------------------------------------
Invest in Forestry & Waste Management!
--------------------------------------

4. (U) Osiegbu wanted to increase private sector-driven
industries and find private partners to invest in
reforestation for the timber industry. This would help
diversify the state's economy, he argued, but he lamented
that raw Nigerian products are exported to Asian markets
where they are processed and standardized for American
markets. Further, Osiegbu would like a waste management
company to introduce composting to the state. He has
identified one interested group but said lack of finances and
steep operation costs of working in riverine areas was a
challenge.

5. (U) The three-year-old Delta State Waste Management
Board, which falls under the Ministry of Environment,
operates 27 trucks in 17 towns. In a separate meeting with
Poloffs, the Executive Chairman of the Waste Management Board
said waste management and recycling are captal intensive;
therefore the Board would like to partner with private
sectors on "waste to wealth." The Chairman said private
companies augment waste collection in the state and use
designated waste and sewage dumpsites.

6. (SBU) However, the Board said both private citizens and
private waste collectors have a "bad attitude" towards
sanitation and do not comply with regulations. Citizens
ignore large dumpsters placed around the city (which Poloffs
noted) and private waste companies both within and outside
Delta State dump in unauthorized areas. This, they argued,
contributes to water borne diseases. While there are laws
against dumping and penalties for offenders, the Task Force
responsible for monitoring this is reportedly limited by

LAGOS 00000789 002 OF 002


"financial constraints." The Board said it would like to see
improved monitoring and observation by 2008.

-------
Comment
-------

7. (SBU) Our meetings with both the Ministry of Environment
and the Waste Management Board highlighted Delta State
Government's interest in pursuing public-private partnerships
and investment throughout the state. Because government
enforcement and regulation is relatively light in the area of
waste management, there may be an opportunity to partner with
state officials to build their capacity to combat illegal
dumping and public health awareness campaigns. However, at
this time, the state government appears more focused on
receiving donations and investment than internally-driven
improvements. End Comment.

8. (U) This cable was cleared by Embassy Abuja.
BLAIR

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