Viewing cable 01ABUJA2152

01ABUJA21522001-08-29 16:02:00 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 002152 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/22/2011 
REF: A. STATE 122773 
     ¶B. ABUJA 2118 
     ¶C. ABUJA 2117 
     ¶D. LAGOS 2179 
(U) Classified by Ambassador Howard F. Jeter; Reasons 1.5 (b) 
and (d). 
¶1. (C) NDLEA Chairman Alhaji Bello Lafiaji called on 
Ambassador Jeter on August 27.  The Ambassador informed 
Lafiaji that he had shared the non-paper on certification 
benchmarks with National Security Advisor Aliyu Mohammed and 
President Obasanjo.  The President had informed the 
Ambassador that 250m Naira had been earmarked for the NDLEA, 
and would be released soon. 
¶2. (C) The Ambassador told Lafiaji that the U.S. was aware of 
his efforts, as was President Obasanjo.  Lafiaji complained 
bitterly that he had done a great deal to improve the NDLEA, 
but was still struggling to get resources for the Agency 
(particularly for communications equipment and logistics), 
and to garner support and cooperation from Ministries and 
other government agencies.  He said that he had personally 
filled-out 99 percent of the FATF survey, even though it was 
really the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance, and it 
still had not been sent.  Lafiaji said that the NDLEA would 
work to meet every benchmark that was part of its portfolio, 
and he would try to get other Ministries and agencies to do 
their part.  Lafiaji bemoaned the lack of cooperation he had 
received, particularly from the Ministry of Justice, and said 
that the Ministry was not playing its required role. 
However, assistance from some state governors for NDLEA zonal 
commands in their states has been excellent, and much better 
than expected. 
¶3. (C) The Ambassador asked Lafiaji if he planned to 
coordinate with ECOWAS on the NDLEA academy in Jos (Ref D). 
Lafiaji said he would, and observed that he was seeking a 
Ministerial-level endorsement from ECOWAS for the academy. 
¶4. (C) Lafiaji plans to travel to the U.S. for the UNGA to 
address the Third Committee (on October 3 or 4).  He would 
appreciate meetings in Washington the day after his address 
in New York, and would like to meet with INL A/S Rand Beers, 
as well as State/AF, DEA, FBI, and perhaps the NSC.  He told 
the Ambassador that he would inform the Embassy of the exact 
dates of his trip as soon as they are known. 
¶5. (C) COMMENT: Lafiaji has made a number of important 
changes in the NDLEA, including a merit-based promotion 
system.  He also opposed politicizing the Agency, including 
appointments of political cronies.  He has also made himself 
readily available to the Embassy, and has stated his 
willingness to address Embassy concerns.  However, there 
seems to be little he can do to make other agencies and 
Ministries more actively engaged, despite his active 
lobbying.  He expressed strong frustration with others in the 
GON, and reacted somewhat defensively when the Ambassador 
said that not enough was being done.  Embassy will watch for 
improved GON performance as a result of President Obasanjo's 
infusion of much needed money into the NDLEA and recent 
high-level approaches on the counter-narcotics benchmarks. 
¶6. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED: On August 29, Lafiaji called the 
Ambassador to inform him that 60 kg of cocaine had been 
seized from a ship from Brazil at Tin Can Island (Lagos). 
Lafiaji described this as the single largest interdiction 
since the beginning of his tenure.  Embassy will report on 
this potentially significant development as more information 
becomes available.  END COMMENT.