US embassy cable - 02ABUJA358

NIGERIA: ITALY PROVIDES ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS ASSISTANCE

Identifier: 02ABUJA358
Wikileaks: View 02ABUJA358 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2002-02-04 12:51:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: KCRM EAID PHUM PGOV IT NI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS  ABUJA 000358 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
NOFORN 
 
 
DEPT FOR G/TIP AND INL 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KCRM, EAID, PHUM, PGOV, IT, NI 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: ITALY PROVIDES ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN 
PERSONS ASSISTANCE 
 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- PROTECT ACCORDINGLY. 
 
 
1. (U) On January 10, the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, 
Giovanni Germano, presided over a ceremony to mark the formal 
delivery of USD 2.5 million worth of equipment to the 
Nigerian Police Force and Immigration Service for the fight 
against Trafficking in Persons.  In the last year, Italy, the 
largest destination for girls and women trafficked from 
Nigeria for sexual exploitation, has began working closely 
with the Nigerian government to find ways of addressing the 
growing trafficking problem. 
 
 
2. (U) The equipment transferred to the Nigerian Police and 
Immigration Service included: 10 sedan cars; 6 4X4 SUVs; 20 
minibuses; 4 large buses; 26 fax machines; 30 photocopiers; 4 
Video projectors; 20 digital cameras; 12 digital camcorders; 
52 computers; 52 laser printers; 5 bubblejet printers; 20 
overhead projectors; 50 "ultraviolet projects;" 52 UPS units; 
33 generators (ranging from 20-58KVA); 6 TVs; 6 VCRs; 2 video 
camaras; 1 IMMARSAT phone; 36 VHF radios; 55 radio batteries 
and 55 battery chargers. 
 
 
3. (U) In a brief speech at the ceremony, Ambassador Germano 
stated that the vehicles and equipment were being "donated by 
the Italian government to the Nigerian Police and Immigration 
to assist them to combat effectively the menace of human 
trafficking from Nigeria to Italy, a phenomenon which has 
experienced an upsurge in volume in the last couple of 
years."  After noting that there are 10,000 Nigerian victims 
of trafficking in Italy, the Ambassador highlighted legal 
provisions in both Nigeria and Italy in dealing with this 
crime.  He also listed the several international conventions 
on trafficking and related issues, to which both Nigeria and 
Italy are signatories.  Germano also called attention to the 
ECOWAS Convention on Extradition (1994) and on Mutual 
Assistance in Criminal Matters (1992).  (Note: ECOWAS 
recently adopted a resolution and Plan of Action against 
Trafficking in Persons at the ECOWAS Summit in Dakar. End 
Note) 
 
 
4.(SBU/NF) In discussions with Ambassador Germano before and 
after the assistance turnover ceremony, RNLEO learned that 
there is no formal agreement or MOU governing the disposition 
of this large amount of equipment and no conditions covering 
the equipment's use.  In fact, the Ambassador seemed a bit 
embarrassed at his government's insistence on turning over 
the whole lot of equipment with no real identification of 
whom within the Police or Immigration Service should be the 
beneficiaries.  Similarly, the Italian government has not 
articulated any particular objectives on the fight against 
trafficking in persons as it handed over this record amount 
of anti-TIP foreign assistance to the GON. 
 
 
5.(SBU/NF) Upon checking in with the recently appointed 
Special Assistant to the President for Trafficking in Persons 
and Child Labor, Mike Mku, (a new position) shortly after the 
assistance turn-over, RNLEO learned that elements of the 
Police, the Office of the Presidency and the Immigration 
Service ) many having no direct role in fighting TIP ) are 
fighting over who gets the equipment.  The Special Assistant 
is fighting to have some of the equipment turned over to a 
NGO set up by the Vice President's wife, an entity clearly 
outside the parameters of the Italian government,s 
statement.  The sole Police entity charged exclusively with 
fighting Trafficking in Persons - an ill-equipped and 
under-funded task force of 10 police officers in Lagos - 
appears to be getting little of the equipment. 
 
 
6.(SBU/NF) Comment:  This has been a case study in how not to 
deliver law enforcement assistance in a country with a 
serious corruption problem.  Aside from losing valuable 
leverage to prod the GON into adopting a more sincere and 
aggressive anti-TIP effort, the Italian Government has not 
helped our efforts to craft a smaller yet more focused and 
effective anti-TIP law enforcement project as the GON may now 
be reluctant to accept USG conditions on aid worth a fraction 
of the strings-free Italian largesse. 
 
 
Jeter 

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