Viewing cable 01ABUJA1306
Title: NIGERIA: DEALING WITH UN MISSION DEBT

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
01ABUJA13062001-06-09 06:21:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abuja
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 001306 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/08/2007 
TAGS: AMGT OFDP KREC NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: DEALING WITH UN MISSION DEBT 
 
REF: (A) SECSTATE 84936 (B) USUN 1113 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR HOWARD F. JETER FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) 
AND (D). 
 
 
¶1. (C)  During the course of a June 1 meeting with MFA 
Permanent Secretary (Ambassador) T.D. Hart, Ambassador Jeter 
presented a letter describing the need for the GON to address 
immediately the potentially embarrassing issue of the 
Nigerian UN Mission's outstanding debt to ConEdison.  The 
Ambassador also told Hart that he had spoken with Nigeria 
Permrep Arthur Mbanefo recently, who was very concerned about 
the severe embarrassment this issue might cause Nigeria. 
Jeter said that we concurred and therefore were aproaching 
the GON quietly to urge that this matter be dealt with 
promptly. 
 
 
¶2. (C)  Ambassador Hart said he appreciated the concern with 
which the USG has handled this issue.  He described Permrep 
Mbanefo's past efforts regarding this issue, but added: "The 
Ministry of Finance has not been entirely sympathetic to our 
needs."  Hart did not go into details, but emphasized that 
funds had been made available by the Ministry of Finance to 
settle that particular bill, and said he expected payment to 
be made in the coming week. 
 
 
¶3. (C)  Jeter mentioned a separate problem gleaned from his 
conversation with Mbanefo concerning Nigeria's outstanding 
Mission phone bill in excess of USD 400,000.  Hart said that 
this debt had been incurred during the Abacha Administration 
and that funds were not available in the Ministry's regular 
allocation to pay for it.  Hart emphasized, however, that the 
GON would pay its debts.  He said that he was working with 
the Presidency and the Ministry of Finance to obtain adequate 
funds to honor debts, and to meet the pressing needs of 
Nigerian Missions around the world.  The Permsec was 
optimistic that funds would be made available soon to address 
any other outstanding debts of the Nigerian Mission to the 
UN. 
 
 
¶2. (C)  Comment:  There are a substantial number of 
Abacha-era debts that are still outstanding.  The Obasanjo 
Administration does appear to be trying to pay most of them. 
The problem is that almost all of these debts were incurred 
without authorization and in many cases without funds having 
been made available.  The Permsec's assertion that the 
ConEdison bill would be paid in the following week may be 
accurate; however, Nigeria's very slow track-record on 
releasing money from the Ministry of Finance, even after an 
expenditure has been approved, would indicate a longer delay. 
 
 
Jeter