Viewing cable 04LAGOS2424
Title: DOES INSPIRATION MATTER? THE SAFE SKIES FOR AFRICA

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04LAGOS24242004-12-02 12:57:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Consulate Lagos
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 LAGOS 002424 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DAKAR PLEASE PASS TO FAA ED JONES; DOT PLEASE PASS TO SUSAN 
MCDERMOTT, CORNELIA WILSON HUNTER, AND KEVIN SAMPLE; FAA 
PLEASE PASS TO FOREST RAWLS III; BRUSSELS PLEASE PASS TO 
TSA GERALD K. MOORE; HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER PLEASE PASS 
 
SIPDIS 
TO TSA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10 YEARS 
TAGS: EAID EAIR ECON ETRD PTER NI
SUBJECT: DOES INSPIRATION MATTER? THE SAFE SKIES FOR AFRICA 
CONFERENCE NIGERIAN DELEGATION 
 
 
Classified By: Consul General Brian L. Browne for Reasons 1.4 (b & d) 
 
 ¶1. (U) Summary.  The GON sent a three-member delegation to 
the Safe Skies for Africa Conference in Johannesburg, South 
Africa October 25-29; Lagos US Consulate Econoff also 
attended the event.  The Nigerian delegation said, upon 
returning home, it would push for passage of a pending 
aviation bill and will seek to secure additional security 
equipment.  The delegation believes both initiatives are 
critical toward meeting international aviation safety and 
security standards.  Transportation Security Administration 
(TSA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) officials 
cautioned the GON to seek alternative sources for obtaining 
aviation equipment.  U.S. assistance, they said, is shifting 
away from equipment transfers and moving toward training and 
capacity building.  End summary. 
 
¶2. (U) The Nigerian delegation (NIDEL) members to the Safe 
Skies for Africa (SSFA) Conference in Johannesburg October 
25-29 were Mr. Desmond Ugwuegbulem, Federal Airports 
Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Director of Airport Operations, 
Mrs. A.A. Faworaja, FAAN General Manager for Security, and 
Mr. Obi Anadu, FAAN General Manager for Murtala Muhammed 
International Airport. 
 
WHO WILL FUND SECURITY EQUIPMENT? 
--------------------------------- 
 
¶3. (U) Throughout the conference, the NIDEL repeatedly raised 
the need for more security equipment to Econoff and US 
aviation officials.  TSA and DOT officials replied that 
future USG contributions for aviation security in Nigeria 
mostly will be in training and consultation rather than 
security equipment itself.  The US has already provided USD 
3.2 million in aviation security equipment to Nigeria through 
the DOT Nigerian Transportation Project. 
 
¶4. (SBU) GON aviation officials need to realize that they 
have to take greater responsibility for purchasing their own 
equipment and that they should not place undue reliance on 
the US to transfer equipment to them.  At the November 11 
US-Nigeria bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement 
(TIFA) talks in Abuja, an uninvited MOA official waited 
outside the conference room for several hours to deliver a 
request that we supply Nigeria with additional aviation 
security equipment. 
 
¶5. (SBU) According to DOT, however, Nigeria has received more 
equipment than any other African nation.  DOT has provided 
Nigeria new passenger screening equipment, explosive trace 
detectors, and hand held and metal detectors for all four 
major international airports (Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Port 
Harcourt).  In addition, DOT has trained 300 personnel on the 
use of the equipment, and has provided maintenance contracts 
for all the equipment.  DOT thinks its role in helping to 
equip Nigerian airports with state of the art passenger and 
cargo screening equipment has been fulfilled. 
 
¶6.  (SBU) Comment. Following years of equipment transfers, 
Nigerian aviation officials have in place new state of the 
art security equipment at all major international airports. 
The major concerns now are the maintenance of the equipment 
and of the training levels of the personnel using the 
equipment.  Additionally, equipping airports with similar 
equipment is an important concern.  DOT had recommended to 
Nigerian MOA officials that the older equipment removed from 
the international airports be placed at appropriate domestic 
airports.  The time has come for Nigerian aviation officials 
to identify alternate funding sources for additional security 
equipment.  Nigeria might raise funds for equipment through 
airport taxes or a budget allotment on an annual basis.  DOT 
believes that Nigeria has in place the foundation for 
becoming a world-class aviation hub on the security side. 
Flight safety concerns remain to be addressed.  End comment. 
 
PUSH FOR CIVIL AVIATION BILL 
---------------------------- 
 
¶7. (U) NIDEL members told Econoff that passage of civil 
aviation legislation stalled in the National Assembly is 
necessary for further progress towards meeting international 
aviation standards.  (Amembassy Abuja will send a copy of the 
draft bill to US FAA legal experts to determine if it meets 
ICAO standards.  If so, this will be an important step in 
creating an aviation regulatory environment that will comply 
with the requirements for reaching FAA Category One status.) 
 
¶8. (SBU) NIDEL member, Ugwuegbulem, told Econoff he will do 
his part to encourage passage of adequate legislation.  He 
plans to inform the new MD of FAAN, Alhaji Gambo Umar, of its 
importance in the hope that Umar will, in turn, stress its 
importance to MOA.  MOA will then work with National Assembly 
members to pass the bill. 
 
¶9. (C) Comment.  A strong aviation sector in Nigeria would 
benefit both US and Nigerian interests.  Direct routes 
between the US and Nigeria would result in improved market 
access and increased trade.  We were pleased with the 
enthusiasm the NIDEL displayed at the SSFA Conference. 
However, the trio probably does not have the bureaucratic 
clout and influence to change budget allocations or effect 
legislation.  Notwithstanding NIDEL apparent buy-in, we 
suspect SSFA Conference messages and ideas will not resonate 
loudly at the MOA where the true impetus for change must 
come.  As a result, it may be some time before Nigeria 
attains the aviation stature it covets and the concomitant 
economic openness that stature would help produce.  End 
comment. 
 
¶10. (U) This cable has been cleared by Amembassy Abuja. 
 
BROWNE 
BROWNE