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Cablegate: Nigerian Nuggets -- October 9, 2009

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DE RUEHUJA #1854/01 2821237
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 091237Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7180
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0569
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0455
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 2103
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 0429
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS PRIORITY 2065
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ABUJA 001854

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/FO, AF/W, AF/RSA, DRL, INR/AA
USAID FOR AFR/WA (DALZOUMA)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIAN NUGGETS -- OCTOBER 9, 2009

REF: ABUJA 1757

1. (U) Mission Nigeria provides the following compilation of
recent political, economic, and social developments not
previously reported.

-----------------
MINING TEAM VISIT
-----------------

2. (U) The Mission sponsored a visit by a five-person mining
team to Jos and Abuja to better understand investment
opportunities in Nigeria's mining sector. The team,
comprised of Embassy Abuja's EconCouns and Energy Officer,
Embassy Pretoria's Minerals Officer and Minerals Specialist,
and the U.S. Geological Survey's Africa and Middle East
Director, met with federal and Plateau State mining sector
officials, traveled to several mine sites, and led a
stakeholder industry roundtable at the Nigerian Institute of
Mining and Geo-Sciences in Jos. The team met with the
Project Coordinator for the World Bank's 250 million-dollar
project to promote sustainable management of mineral
resources. Nigeria's solid mineral resources, if responsibly
developed, could help diversify the economy away from
over-dependence on oil and gas, thereby increasing employment
and reducing poverty. The minerals team will prepare reports
on the state of mining in Nigeria, the tin mining industry,
and the mining investment climate in Plateau state, including
recommendations for a mining program. A small amount of
technical assistance could increase the productivity of
small-scale and artisanal mining in Plateau State.

--------------------------------------------- -
USAID -- BBC WORLD SERVICE TRUST MEDIA PROJECT
--------------------------------------------- -

3. (U) The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
entered into a public-private partnership with the BBC World
Service Trust (BBC WST) to strengthen the Nigerian media.
The partnership will train journalists and program managers
in six states to cover key governance issues using
international standards and applying values of impartiality,
accuracy, balance, and objectivity. Under the project, 24
partner radio stations will receive intensive on-site
training to produce radio programs that engage audiences to
discuss governance issues, including oil-sector transparency,
public-sector resource management, health and water
management, and community-service delivery. The partnership
will use a popular Nigerian radio drama, "Story, Story,"
which roots governance issues in everyday, local realities.
Twenty journalists will receive financial support to pursue
investigative stories, which they would otherwise overlook
because of lack of resources. Training will target civil
society organizations to improve their ability to use the
media to achieve awareness and advocacy objectives. Under
this partnership, USAID will provide 4.5 million dollars and
the BBC/WST 10.7 million dollars (mainly in-kind), for a
total of 15.2 million dollars, during three years.

--------------------------------
CDC RESPONDS TO CHOLERA OUTBREAK
--------------------------------
Q--------------------------------

4. (U) During the past month, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) supported eight public-health
professionals in responding to a cholera outbreak in three
Northeastern Nigerian states. The deployed health care
responders, who serve as residents of the Field Epidemiology
and Laboratory Training Program (NFELTP), train medical,
veterinary, and laboratory professionals to respond to public
health emergencies in collaboration with GON Ministries of
Health and Agriculture. The cholera outbreak occurred during
a national health care workers strike that hampered local
responses. NFELTP residents helped establish cholera

ABUJA 00001854 002 OF 003


treatment camps, environmental sanitation, mass water
treatment, door-to-door health education, and negotiated
improved hospital support to include funding for generator
fuel, mattresses, and medical supplies. As of October 5,
unofficial reports indicated 3,779 cases and 461 deaths from
cholera.

-------------------------------------
HIV/AIDS NATIONAL STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK
-------------------------------------

5. (U) The National Agency for the Control of AIDS officially
launched its strategy development process the week of October
5 for the National Strategic Framework on HIV/AIDS 2010-2015.
The USG, through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS
Relief (PEPFAR), supports this critical effort for creating a
costed, national strategic plan committed to ensuring
sustainability of multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS responses in
Nigeria.

-----------------------------------
ELECTORAL BODY TO ACCREDIT MONITORS
-----------------------------------

6. (SBU) Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
International Liaison Deputy Director Blessing Obidiegwu told
PolOff September 29 that her agency's primary engagement with
the international community occurred through the United
Nations Development Program (UNDP) Joint Donor Basket Fund
(JDBF). Under JDBF, Ambassador Brownson Dede, a retired
career diplomat and one-time Assistant Secretary General of
the Organization of African Unity (now African Union), serves
as a consultant to INEC. Obidiegwu noted INEC established
Electoral Institutes in Abuja and Delta State to train the
organization's 300 permanent staff. INEC officials planned
to release the 2011 electoral calendar in October 2010.
According to Obidiegwu, INEC will accredit all nations that
seek status as international monitors and agree to follow
INEC guidelines. She said INEC would welcome international
monitors for the Anambra February 6, 2010, gubernatorial
election, noting that accreditation requests must be
submitted by November.

----------------------------
INTER-PARTY ADVISORY COUNCIL
----------------------------

7. (SBU) Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) Chairman Dr.
Iheanyichukwu Nnaji and representatives from some 20
political parties (out of 54 belonging to IPAC) expressed
discontent October 2 to PolOff regarding GON performance on
electoral reforms. While belonging to IPAC, the ruling
People's Democratic Party (PDP) did not send a
representative. IPAC members claimed that a constitutional
amendment on electoral reform would be needed before the 2011
polls to avoid a repeat of violence and election-rigging from
the 2007 elections. IPAC officials plan to send a delegation
to Anambra State, after voter registration closes and
political parties nominate their gubernatorial candidates, to
encourage a free and fair poll in February.

------------------------------------------
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DEBATES ELECTORAL REFORM
------------------------------------------
Q------------------------------------------

8. (U) The National Assembly, which reconvened the week of
October 5 after a two-month recess, discussed electoral
reform constitutional amendments. The Senate transferred an
Electoral Offenses Commission Bill to a Constitutional Review
Committee for further action after hours of debate on a
provision allowing the President to fire any INEC member.
Additionally, sponsors withdrew language establishing an
Electoral Violence Commission from a Police Amendment Bill in
the face of likely National Assembly rejection.

ABUJA 00001854 003 OF 003

9. (U) Embassy Abuja and Consulate General Lagos collaborated
on this telegram.
MCCULLOUGH

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