Cablegate: Nigeria: Binational Commission Niger Delta and Regional
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHUJA #2052/01 3201026
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161026Z NOV 09 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7469
INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 2281
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0609
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ABUJA 002052
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - Paragraph markings
STATE FOR AF/FO, AF/W, AF/RSA, DRL, INR/AA, S/CIEA, AF/PDPA
USAID FOR AFR/WA (DALZOUMA)
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/16/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PINS PTER KDEM NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: BINATIONAL COMMISSION NIGER DELTA AND REGIONAL
SECURITY COOPERATION WORKING GROUP GAME PLAN
REF: ABUJA 2016
ABUJA 00002052 001.2 OF 004
1. Mission Nigeria has met several times to review current and
proposed initiatives for consideration under the Niger Delta and
Regional Security Cooperation Working Group (ND/RSC) of the proposed
U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission (BNC). The goal of this BNC
Working Group would be to provide immediate, tangible development and
economic opportunities to Niger Delta inhabitants and to enhance our
partnership with the Nigerian Government (GON) on regional security.
Consistent stability and security will be required to allow the U.S.
to provide technical assistance in these areas. While the fragile
amnesty provides a good start, it requires further support on
rehabilitation, reintegration and training of "ex-militants". END
CURRENT USG NIGER DELTA ACTIVITIES
2. The Mission's current Work Plan envisages ongoing technical
and development assistance in the Niger Delta. Past violence, an
unstable security situation, and the threat of kidnapping have
hindered past efforts to provide the full range of assistance in this
region. With implementation of amnesty for militants and the
subsequent reduction in violence, the USG is seeking to expand its
program and provide additional development and economic opportunities
for the Niger Delta. The USG has actively engaged in various
activities during the last 12 months in this region that we could
continue to build upon as part of the ND/RSC working group.
Illustrative examples of current activities in the Delta region
-- Training 62 environmental officers in oil spill detection and
recovery methods through the Science Fellows Program.
-- Assisting the Nigerian Navy in Regional Maritime Awareness
Capability (RMAC) with the installation of the Automated Information
System (AIS), placing RMAC sensors in Lagos and Bonny Island; we plan
to install another RMAC device at Naval Headquarters in Abuja in the
next couple of months.
-- Training and providing equipment to the Nigerian Maritime
Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to improve its capacity to
interdict trafficking, smuggling, poaching, and illegal bunkering
through intensive training and cooperation with the US Coast Guard;
more collaboration will occur when the USCG ship Gallatin visits in
summer 2010. This includes adding an RMAC sensor at NIMASA's search
and rescue center.
-- Installing body scanner x-ray machines and drug-explosive-
detection itemizers at Port Harcourt International Airport,
-- Helping to establish an internationally recognized and accredited
maritime training institution for Niger Delta youth in maritime
trades, focusing on youth with low education levels who can learn
skills through rapid training for various maritime trades for which a
large international demand exists.
-- Refurbishing a skills acquisition center in Yenagoa for skills
including mechanics, welding, hair-dressing, and dress-making, and
the Gbaramatu Rural Handicraft Center, both in Bayelsa state, under
Office of Defense Cooperation auspices.
QOffice of Defense Cooperation auspices.
-- Increasing the capacity of government institutions, civil society,
business groups, and other stakeholders to prevent, manage, and
mitigate the impacts of conflict through USAID's CALM project.
-- Training civilian and military personnel in transnational threats
through three Trans-Sahara Security symposia held in 2009 and in
legal aspects of combating terrorism; and training military
intelligence officers to improve Nigeria's capacity for intelligence
analysis, dissemination, and sharing.
--Providing technical assistance to the Nigerian Federal Ministry of
Defence to conduct quarterly HIV/AIDS clinical, laboratory, and
prevention technical working group meetings. Providing additional
supply chain management, pediatric AIDS treatment and counseling and
ABUJA 00002052 002.2 OF 004
testing for HIV/AIDS in the Niger Delta region.
-- Providing technical assistance and capacity building to Bayelsa
state through the U.S. Mission's interagency Pilot Engagement with
States (PES) initiative. The Ambassador leads interagency teams of
program, policy and agency specialists to work in states where the
governor has provided counterpart funds, in a true stakeholder
relationship for state development, including fiscal responsibility
and transparency in procurement. USAID has conducted several fiscal
training workshops with Bayelsa state legislators on fiscal
-- Providing scholarships and grants to schools and local communities
through the Ambassador's Special Self-Help Fund and the Ambassador's
Girls' Scholarship program.
-- Providing over 5,530,246 insecticide treated bed nets in Cross
-- Providing technical assistance to support biosafety regulations
framework for genetically-modified crops in Cross River State.
-- Helping to increase agricultural productivity for cereals and
tubers in the region under the Food Security program. Implementing
public-private partnerships to improve technology value chains to
reduce costs and increase productivity.
-- Training youth in IT and entrepreneurial skills through Public
Diplomacy (PD) and through IFESH.
-- Conducting quarterly sessions with civil society on election
reform and other issues.
-- Including Delta states in Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S.
Customs and Border Protection, Public Diplomacy (PD), and Self-Help
projects such as the Cochran program, trade missions and exchange
programs. Of note, PD held education workshops for Bayelsa state, and
both FAS and USCS have included Delta state participants in all their
PROPOSED USG NIGER DELTA ACTIVITIES
3. As part of a nationwide BNC game plan, Mission Nigeria could
add more activities in the Niger Delta on maritime awareness, and
economic and development opportunities for militants in the
rehabilitation camps. Contingent on availability of sufficient
funding, these activities could include:
-- Continuing Africa Partnership Station (APS) activities and
training that build better maritime awareness. An APS visit
occurred in March 2009, and two will occur in early 2010.
-- Continuing APS activities, including adding an ECOWAS APS ship
rider and long-term temporary duty (TDY) individual to the Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on maritime issues.
-- Adding another AIS RMAC sensor to the Eastern Reserve in Calabar
to provide full Niger Delta coverage of ship and smuggling
-- Enhancing Coast Guard and Navy capabilities through training and
provision of equipment to monitor coastal waters for smuggling,
including of illegally bunkered oil.
-- Enhancing port security of Lagos port, including through the
Energy Department's Megaports initiative and the Homeland Security
Department's Container Security Initiative (CSI) to reduce smuggling
of contraband, including weapons, into and out of the nearby Niger
Qof contraband, including weapons, into and out of the nearby Niger
-- Renewing our offer to identify origins of weapons for which the
Nigerian Federal Ministry of Defence would have to provide serial
-- Revisiting our offer to assist on oil bunkering through electronic
bill of lading or develop other options and processes.
-- Enhancing Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) ability
to conduct investigations into corruption, including diversion of GON
ABUJA 00002052 003.2 OF 004
funding intended for Niger Delta communities.
-- Enhancing Customs Service capabilities through training and
provision of equipment to detect contraband at ports, airports, and
-- Establishing a framework for training youth in simple,
environmental clean-up techniques and employing many youth to start
cleaning up oil spills throughout the Niger Delta. The Nigerian
partner organization could be the Nigerian Oil Spill Detection and
Response Agency (NOSDRA).
-- Helping to establish neighborhood watch groups to report spills;
encouraging communities to become actively involved in cleaning up
and protecting their environment.
-- Providing training in deep-sea fishing. Nigeria has vast,
untouched marine resources currently poached by large, commercial
vessels operating illegally in Nigerian waters, according the
Nigerian Fisheries Department. Yet, most traditional fishermen lack
capacity to reach these resources further off-shore than reached by
traditional fishing craft, such as canoes. The Nigerian Trawler
Owners' Association claims that it could triple its fleet if the
security situation improved and it had sufficient trained personnel.
-- Establishing a subsidiary of the maritime institute in Warri,
Delta State, and Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to train fishermen.
-- Providing training in fish farming (aquaculture) to Niger Delta
coastal communities under the food security initiative. Nigeria
currently imports up to 80 percent of its fish. Many fish varieties
and shrimp could be produced in fish farms both for local consumption
-- Providing assistance on commercial rice production and food
storage techniques under the food security initiative.
-- Helping develop health care capacity by working with state
commissioners of health, international NGOs, or Nigerian NGOs, such
as Rural Africa Health Initiative, which uses mobile surgical clinics
and teams of medical professional volunteers to provide medical
treatment to isolate communities in the creeks.
-- Providing vocational training to "ex-militants" in skills useful
to the Niger Delta area. Although we are helping refurbish two
training centers, the USG does not currently have a good program to
fund vocational training.
-- Encouraging sport and artistic exchanges with youth along the
lines of the basketball coaches from Global Sports Advantage who have
operated basketball camps in Port Harcourt for the last three years;
they recruit potential talent and help the youth obtain sports
scholarships to the U.S. Such programs could focus on various
sports, involving girls and boys, and other disciplines, such as
theater, music, and dance, if we identify the appropriate U.S.
-- Working with the Niger Delta Wetlands Center to replicate their
successful solar-powered, 900-foot well in Kiama, Bayelsa State.
Most wells in the region are too shallow, access non-potable water,
and lack reliable power sources; solar-powered wells would overcome
such challenges by providing reliable power without recourse to
diesel-powered generators and tapping into drinking-quality water at
Qdiesel-powered generators and tapping into drinking-quality water at
-- Expanding the U.S. Mission Pilot Engagement with States (PES)
program to include other Niger Delta States besides Bayelsa.
4. Mission Country Team Members are coordinating closely on
possible assistance the USG can provide to Niger Delta communities
during the post-amnesty phases under the BNC. These activities cut
across all agencies and sectors and possess potential to make
significant differences in the lives of the region's inhabitants,
assuming the security situation remains stable enough to permit a
prolonged presence in the Niger Delta.
ABUJA 00002052 004.2 OF 004
5. Embassy coordinated this telegram with ConGen Lagos.