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Cablegate: Nigeria: Dyncorp Airport Project in Termination

VZCZCXRO0617
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0265 2000830
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 180830Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0025
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 9711
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 0148
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEOMFD/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS LAGOS 000265

SIPDIS

STATE PASS FAA TO AHARRIS,
TRANSPORTATION TO FAA;
STATE PLEASE PASS TO OPIC;
DAKAR PLEASE PASS TO FAA REP MOIRA KEANE;
ROME PLEASE PASS TO TSA REP JOHN HALINSKI;
STATE PLEASE PASS TO COMMERCE KBURRESS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR EINV PREL NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: DYNCORP AIRPORT PROJECT IN TERMINATION

REF: A) LAGOS 00208

1. (SBU) Summary: John Borden, project manager, told PolOff
June 22 that Dyncorp employees left the Akwa Ibom (AI)
airport site June 22, giving notice to the AI State
government of project termination effective June 23. Dyncorp
has been working under a contract to construct an
international airport and maintenance, repair and overhaul
(MRO) facility since November 2005. The Akwa Ibom State
government is refusing to allow the personal belongings
DynCorp employees left behind to be shipped out of the
country; DynCorp has asked Mission for a letter in support of
its request to ship the items. End Summary.

2. (SBU) DynCorp reported being under surveillance by AI
officials and by their own employees, who had been told to
report any suspicious activity to the State government. At
least one person had been stationed outside their residential
compound to report on their movements. One person noticed a
Dyncorp expatriate packing a box, and reported it, Borden
claimed, which tipped off the State government, and led to
DynCorp executives' clandestine departure from Nigeria.
(Reftel) The AI government has rejected the DynCorp
termination letter, and subcontractors continue work under
the AI government's supervision. Governor Akpabio, in London
for meetings, called for a project update, Borden said,
confirming their suspicions of being under surveillance.
Borden told PolOff in a June 27 email that state government
officials are refusing to allow the remaining DynCorp
expatriate employee still in country, an Italian, to ship
personal belongings of the departed American Dyncorp
employees out of Nigeria. DynCorp has asked Mission for a
letter in support of its request to ship the items.

AI Continues Work on Project
----------------------------

3. (SBU) Borden told PolOff in a July 7 email that Governor
Akpabio has rejected the termination letter delivered to his
office on June 23, and has requested a meeting with DynCorp.
All subcontractors are still working under the Airport
Implementation Committee's supervision and oversight,
ignoring DynCorp's directions to suspend work, Borden said.
He has learned the state intends to issue new subcontracts to
all current DynCorp subcontractors. DynCorp had been given
notice that the Governor would hold a press conference in
Abuja about the project, but no such press conference has
been held. Borden speculates that this indicates AI does not
yet want to sever its ties with DynCorp.

4. (SBU) If the AI government asks DynCorp to return to work,
the company would propose that DynCorp act as project
managers, working directly for and reporting directly to the
Governor. However, as a prerequisite for returning to work
DynCorp would ask that a number of conditions be met,
including a waiver of all claims associated with DynCorp's
performance to date.

5. (SBU) Comment: In light of the continuing unresolved
issues in the relationship between DynCorp and the AI
government, it is hard to tell whether Borden's premise that
the state government may want them to continue the project is
realistic. We will continue to monitor sanctity of contract
issues related to Dyncorp and requeste that it provide
Mission with a copy of the termination letter given to the
Akwa Ibom government. End comment.

6. (U) This cable has been cleared by Embassy Abuja.
BLAIR

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