US embassy cable - 02ABUJA2686

SUBJECT: NIGERIA: USTDA VISIT A SUCCESS STORY

Identifier: 02ABUJA2686
Wikileaks: View 02ABUJA2686 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2002-09-17 18:15:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: ETRD ECON EAGR ECPS EAID EAIR EINV EPET EMIN KPAO 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 SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 002686 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPARTMENT, PLEASE PASS TO USAID, USTDA, EXIM, USTR AND 
BOATENG AT FCC 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETRD, ECON, EAGR, ECPS, EAID, EAIR, EINV, EPET, EMIN, KPAO, NI 
SUBJECT:  SUBJECT: NIGERIA: USTDA VISIT A SUCCESS STORY 
 
 
1.  Summary.  United States Trade and Development Agency 
(TDA) Special Assistant for Projects Thomas Hardy completed 
agreements for feasibility studies for fertilizer and housing 
projects worth $722,000, discussed programs with the 
Ministers of Solid Minerals and Agriculture, and briefed 
senior staff of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council 
(NIPC) on TDA programs.  Hardy also pursued follow up 
meetings on TDA potential programs with the Nigerian 
Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Railway Corporation 
(NRC), Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Ogun State, Nigerian 
Stock Exchange (NSE), and the Nigerian Airspace Management 
Agency (NAMA).  End Summary. 
 
 
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SIGNING OF TWO GRANT AGREEMENTS 
------------------------------- 
 
 
2.  On August 21 a grant agreement of $272,000 to conduct a 
feasibility study for a proposed Private Long-term Mortgage 
Corporation was signed by the U.S-Nigeria Development 
Institute and Ambassador Jeter on behalf of the TDA.  The 
Ambassador also signed a grant agreement with Akwa-Ibom State 
Development Corporation for $450,000 to conduct a feasibility 
study for a fertilizer complex using natural gas.  The latter 
project, if feasible, would not only be beneficial to the 
agricultural sector but would be environmentally sound by 
helping to reduce the amount of gas flared into the 
atmosphere.  The signing received positive coverage from 
national radio, television and in the printed press. 
 
 
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MEETING WITH MINISTER FOR SOLID MINERALS 
---------------------------------------- 
3. On August 22, USTDA Thomas Hardy met the Minister for 
Solid Minerals Modupe Adelaja, Ministry Directors and heads 
of parastatals.  The meeting was covered by major dailies and 
the national television network.  Minister Adelaja outlined 
various areas where the TDA could help.  The Minister 
proposed an airborne geo-physical survey, a feasibility study 
for a coal-fired power plant, and assistance in the 
development of tantalite, gold, coal, lead/zinc, and 
industrial minerals. 
 
 
 
 
-------------------------------------------- 
MEETING WITH THE NIGERIAN MINING CORPORATION 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
 
4.  In a separate meeting with the Managing Director of the 
Nigerian Mining Corporation Taslim Jimoh sought TDA 
assistance in the development of tantalite.  Jimoh confirmed 
that Nigeria had large deposits of the mineral and hoped 
equipment required for its development could be imported from 
the United States. 
 
 
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THE NCC 
------- 
 
 
5.  Hardy met with the senior staff of the NCC.  The NCC 
proposed two follow-on projects to their spectrum analysis 
survey, specifically to help identify radio frequency 
squatters and to develop the existing right of way with the 
Nigerian Railway Corporation for laying optic fiber 
telecommunication networks. 
 
 
 
 
--- 
FHA 
--- 
 
 
6.  Federal Housing Authority Managing Director Ibrahim 
Mustapha discussed a feasibility study for constructing 
housing for the foreign diplomatic community.  The location 
of the project, financing and the eventual customer were not 
clearly defined by the end of the meeting. 
 
 
-------------------- 
OTHER ABUJA MEETINGS 
-------------------- 
 
 
7.  Hardy met with Agriculture Minister Adamu Bello and 
discussed possible future collaboration, including meeting 
with a TDA team that was coming to Nigeria in September to 
identify potential agricultural projects.  There was an 
informal meeting with the Chairman of the Nigerian Railway 
Corporation, as follow-up to a meeting in Lagos.  Hardy also 
briefed the senior staff of the Nigerian Investment Promotion 
Council (NIPC) on TDA activities and renewed contacts with 
Chairman Kola Daisi. 
 
 
 
 
Lagos Meetings 
 
 
---------- 
OGUN STATE 
---------- 
 
 
8.  Hardy met the Commissioner of Finance for Ogun State to 
discuss the ongoing State Sugar Project.  TDA already 
provided funding for the project but needed the Commissioner 
to sign a revised contract.  The Commissioner anticipated the 
contract would be signed and sent to the American company 
conducting the feasibility study by the beginning of 
September.  Hardy and the Commissioner also discussed 
potential technical assistance for a cement factory. 
Currently, TDA is waiting for feedback from an American 
consultant on the viability of the project.  If the report is 
positive, TDA will fund a US company to provide technical 
assistance to develop the plant. 
 
 
 
 
---------------------------------- 
NIGERIAN RAILWAY CORPORATION (NRC) 
---------------------------------- 
 
 
9.  Hardy met A.A. Abubakar, Managing Director of the NRC to 
discuss TDA funding for needed improvements and upgrades to 
the national rail system.  The NRC is completing work on a 
25-year vision statement.  Hardy expressed optimism that TDA 
could fund feasibility studies for improvements outlined in 
the vision statement.  Abubakar plans on following up with 
TDA during an upcoming trip to Washington. 
 
 
----------------------------- 
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE (NSE) 
----------------------------- 
 
 
10.  Hardy met with Kene Okafor, Head of Research and 
Information Technology for the NSE to discuss funding for 
improvements in its electronic trading system.  The NSE 
requested technical assistance for software upgrades and the 
creation of an off-site back-up system.  Hardy suggested that 
the NSE send TDA a letter outlining their needs for funding 
consideration. 
 
 
------------------------------------------ 
NIGERIAN AIRSPACE MANAGEMENT AGENCY (NAMA) 
------------------------------------------ 
 
 
11.  Hardy briefly met with officials from NAMA to discuss 
potential system upgrades but determined that assistance 
already provided by the US Department of Transportation was 
adequate to meet NAMA,s planned upgrades. 
 
 
-------------------- 
BOEING INTERNATIONAL 
-------------------- 
 
 
12.  Hardy met with Thomas Frisby, Regional Representative 
for Boeing, to discuss potential projects in conjunction with 
Nigeria Airways.  Frisby advised against TDA involvement at 
the moment, as Nigeria Airway,s future is uncertain. 
 
 
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COMMENT 
------- 
 
 
13.  Hardy,s reception was warm, as word of the success of 
previous TDA grants has spread.  The Government of Nigeria 
(GON) is looking to the United States to help develop the 
solid minerals sector, continue with technical assistance for 
telecommunications regulation, and help development of large 
scale capital intensive projects.  TDA grants (and the United 
States private sector participation in them) have proved to 
be efficient investments, which differ from other development 
projects in that they can provide results in a period of six 
to eighteen months.  They have also generated significant, 
positive media attention publicly underscoring our commitment 
to be an active partner in Nigeria,s economic reform and 
development.  As such, the grants have been very useful 
public diplomacy tools.  End Comment. 
JETER 

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