Viewing cable 01ABUJA2668
Title: NIGERIA: MPRI IPR - WILL THE PROGRAM CONTINUE?

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
01ABUJA26682001-10-18 20:45:00 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 SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 002668 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPT FOR AF/RA: BITTRICK 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/12/2011 
TAGS: MASS MARR NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: MPRI IPR - WILL THE PROGRAM CONTINUE? 
 
REF: ABUJA 2653 
 
 
(U) Classified by Ambassador Howard F. Jeter; Reasons 1.5 (b) 
and (d). 
 
 
¶1. (C) SUMMARY: A mostly positive In-Progress-Review of the 
MPRI program was followed by a discussion of MPRI funding 
issues for 2002.  Claiming the GON was unaware that the 
program required an annual commitment of $3.5m, Defense 
Minister Danjuma suggested a new arrangement with a 
significantly smaller burden on the GON.  The unfinished 
discussion on funding will be resumed by Generals Vuono and 
Saint and President Obasanjo, at a meeting likely on October 
¶24.  END SUMMARY. 
 
 
=============== 
PRE-IPR MEETING 
=============== 
 
 
¶2. (SBU) Prior to the MPRI In-Progress-Review (IPR), OSD/ISA 
African Affairs Director Theresa Whelan met Defense Minister 
Danjuma to discuss the MPRI Program.  DATT, COL Terry Tidler, 
PolMilOff, and MPRI VP General Crosbie Saint (ret), along 
with Danjuma's PSO Colonel Pennap and a State Security 
Service Officer were in attendance.  (Ambassador Jeter was 
unable to attend due to a meeting with the Vice President, 
but did attend the IPR.) 
 
 
¶3. (SBU) Whelan emphasized the importance of the MPRI program 
as a cornerstone of the military-to-military relationship, 
which had implications for the entire security assistance 
program, and solicited Danjuma's views on moving the program 
forward.  Danjuma agreed on the program's importance, stating 
he would like it to continue.  However, he said the GON had 
been unaware the program would cost $3.5m annually.  No money 
had been budgeted for FY02.  Moreover, the value of the 
program would have to be demonstrated to the National 
Assembly.  Although, "totally in favor of the program," 
Danjuma explained he could not force it on his Service 
Chiefs, and would have to "carry them along." 
 
 
======================================= 
IN-PROGRESS-REVIEW: SOME PROGRESS NOTED 
======================================= 
 
 
¶4. (SBU) The MPRI team's briefing emphasized significant 
progress since the last IPR in April, largely due to the GON 
providing counterparts for the team.  After the briefing, a 
discussion ensued on funding for 2002.  Chief of Defense 
Staff, Admiral Ibrahim Ogohi, argued that money had not been 
budgeted for 2002.  "Who will pay?", Ogohi questioned. 
Danjuma offered that, since Nigeria faced more financial 
constraints than the United States, Nigeria could fund their 
counterparts for 2002 while the U.S. absorbed the cost of the 
American counterparts (i.e. the larger portion of the tab). 
We are at the mercy of world oil prices and cannot count on a 
supplemental budget, Danjuma explained. 
 
 
¶5. (SBU) Joining the IPR in progress, the Ambassador 
explained that this was Nigeria's program, and that funding 
demonstrated commitment.  The 50-50 split had a symbolic 
impact in Washington.  Furthermore, if the U.S. were to bear 
a greater burden, it would affect other security assistance 
programs, such as the C-130 program or the buoy tenders. 
(COMMENT: This statement brought about a look of surprise on 
the Chief of Air Staff's face, who exclaimed, "I hope not the 
C-130s!"  When Danjuma mentioned the buoy tenders, Ogohi 
began to shake his head in a defiant "No."  END COMMENT.) 
Finally, there were simply some things that friends and 
supporters should not do.  Nigeria should be seen by its 
people as leading the reform effort, Jeter opined.  That 
meant footing half of the bill. 
 
 
¶6. (SBU) After further discussions, it was agreed to try to 
accelerate the program, and then review progress again. 
General Saint noted, however, that until the MOD gave 
instructions on a number of proposals, acceleration could not 
occur.  Danjuma said the MOD would redouble its efforts to be 
responsive. 
 
 
================================== 
COMMENT - NEXT STOP, THE PRESIDENT 
================================== 
 
 
¶7. (C) COMMENT: We believe that Danjuma supports the program, 
as he insists.  However, budget constraints, skepticism in 
the National Assembly for defense-related spending, and, not 
least, Service Chief foot-dragging, constrain him.  Danjuma 
told us during a meeting on October 10 that he would make a 
recommendation to President Obasanjo on renewing the program. 
 He also said he planned to attend the meeting between the 
President and Generals Vuono and Saint, which we hope to 
arrange for October 24. 
 
 
¶8. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED: While Danjuma's world oil price 
predictions may be correct, sufficient money can be found for 
the program if the President desires to do so.  We will push 
for this outcome.  However, if the GON is unwilling to pay 
its fair share, then other options, including ending the 
program, will have to be considered.  END COMMENT. 
 
 
¶9. (U) This message was cleared by Theresa Whelan. 
Jeter