European film festival Abuja 2014

Euro-cropped flyer

Abuja

The European Film Festival in Abuja will take place at Silverbird, from the 15th of May to the 24th of May. Admission is free! This is the  schedule  below. 

Thursday 15th May 8.00 pm - El Greco (Greece)

Friday 16th May: 6.00 pm - A horse on the balcony (Austria) 8.00 pm - A bag of Flour (Belgium)

Saturday 17th May: 6.00 pm - Rolli and the golden key (Finland) 8.00 pm - Keep Talking (France)

Sunday 18th May: 6.00 pm - Grabbers (Ireland) 8.00 pm - Sleeping Sickness (Germany)

Monday 19th May: 6.00 pm - The Viceroys (Italy) 8.00 pm - The Marathon (Netherlands)

Tuesday 20th May: 6.00 pm - The Kautokeino Rebellion (Norway) 8.00 pm - Walesa, Man of Hope (Poland)

Wednesday 21st May: 6.00 pm - Profession Kosta Vujic's hat (Serbia) 8.00 pm - Me too (Spain)

Thursday 22nd May: 6.00 pm - The Ice Dragon (Sweden) 8.00 pm - More than Honey (Switzerland)

Friday 23rd May: 6.00 pm - Mommo (Turkey) 8.00 pm - What if (Greece)

Saturday 24th May: 6.00 pm - Little white lies (France) 8.00 pm - The loft (Czech Belgium)

Sunday 25th May: 6.00 pm - Lila Lila (Germany) 8.00 pm - I will get back (Italy)

Monday 26th May: 6.00 pm - The Apostol (Spain) 8.00 pm - The International (Netherlands)


Now open, Games City in Gwarinpa, For the latest arcade games & XD cinema. TEL 08163808087

Eltengi Plaza, 1st Avenue, Along Agete Hotel road Gwarinpa Abuja.

Tel 08163808087  or 08053531150 or 07088107210

www.GamesCityAbuja.com

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Games City

Abuja is a new arcade in Gwarinpa set on two levels. 

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A rooftop section with all the latest electronic arcade games and  a family-friendly eatery to keep you fueled.

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The ground floor section houses the 1st XD cinema in Abuja plus another

 restaurant.   It is an ideal location for that fantastic birthday party  or a well deserved school excursion.  

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Teens, pre teens, younger children and even adults will find all the latest coin/ card operated computerized games, very exciting while the retro-minded will find some classic old fashioned games appealing.

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The upstairs tends to be a haven for the active games and younger children, give it a try today. For that unique activity in Abuja, get the Games City experience.


VoxAfrica TV's trip to Abuja City , unleashing the potential of tourism .

VoxAfrica TV,  is a panafrican bilingual tv channel (www.voxafrica.com) based in the United Kingdom.

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With studios in Battersea London, it is the first pan-African and bilingual channel, which  broadcasts to both the Anglophone and Francophone  parts of the world.

 Voxafrica’s 3 channels broadcast in Africa, Europe and the UK.  The primary target audience is Africans, both locally and in the diaspora, as well as the UK.

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(Nicolas Negoce, Mimi Fawaz & Phillip Ideh Jnr)

 

 

Voxafrica recently  sent a TV crew to Nigeria , the team was made up  of their highly respected journalists Mimi FAWAZ and Nicolas NEGOCE with Joao DA SILVA (director) to Nigeria from the 26th of may to the 4th of june to create a series of programmes :

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(Phillip Ideh & Joao DA SILVA ,director)

 

Part of the mission was  to explore the untapped resources of tourism in Nigeria. Film some of the main attractions in and around Abuja and Lagos and see how these untapped areas  could  be an added value to the economy.

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(Dare Art Alade & Phillip Ideh )

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The Soundcity Music Video Award winning singer, Darey, was invaluable to this mission by opening up his doors to the crew and sharing his views on tourism hotspots in and around Abuja City.

 

With logistical support provided by the www.AbujaCity.com team, the crew were able to visit strategic locations arrange meetings and successfully accomplish their mission in Nigeria.

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(Nicolas Negoce & Emeke Enye - Millenium Park Abuja)

 

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INVASION OF THE GIANT BILLBOARDS – Abuja

Parts of our beautiful city views in  Abuja are being destroyed lately by the invasion of  Giant  Billboards.

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About a decade ago we launched one of the biggest outdoor campaigns in Abuja which was the famous www.AbujaCity.com sign on the hill next to city gate, inspired by the original Hollywood sign on the hill.

Almost a  decade on, we are pleased to point out that the Nigeria at 50 sign on Aso rock is yet another take on this concept. Imitation they say is the best form of flattery.

 

 

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The issue today is different; our city views are under threat today by people constructing all kinds of giant billboards.

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The word giant is used here because it seems these billboards are simply being built to dwarf previous attempts at outdoor advertising. IMG00279-20110605-1142 (2)

 

 

 

There’s obviously more corporate investment in this sector , You can tell by the kind of infrastructure in place  and the round the clock manpower being deployed. 

 

 

But in all honesty it’s time to call this to question.

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After the recent inauguration, we had an international  film crew in town, assisting in producing a movie to highlight attractions within our beautiful city.

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It was sad to note that at various intervals our filming seemed to be interrupted by one of these giant billboards occupying the Abuja Skyline. Trying to film various city attractions became a tricky exercise.

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What can be done about all this? Who is paying attention?

If you need help putting up cutting edge billboards please contact us, at least we'll try to be creative and original  after more than a decade in this industry , we can authoritatively say , It is not the size that matters , it is how well you can do what you do, when you do what you do. - Right Click!


Dbanj ft. Snoop Dogg - Mr Endowed (Remix) truly Endowed

Personally happy for the step in a progressive direction for the general Naija music scene. I think it is catchy, creative and somewhat racey , not too sure about the message in the video But i totally believe snoop could handle Fuji dance steps if he had to.... For that reason, he deserves the passport completely. Congratulations to Dbanj , you are truly Endowed.

10ABUJA215 wikileaks document Nigeria

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ABUJA215 2010-02-26 16:04 2010-12-08 16:04 SECRET Embassy Abuja
VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUJA #0215/01 0571637
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O R 261637Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0436
INFO RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0014
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/USAID WASHDC 0004
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 0006
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0028
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH 0027
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0025
RUEHNM/AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0027
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0027
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
Friday, 26 February 2010, 16:37
S E C R E T ABUJA 000215
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
STATE FOR AF/FO, AF/W, AF/RSA, INR/AA
NSC FOR GAVIN
OSD FOR DASD HUDDLESTON
LONDON FOR POL (PLORD)
PARIS FOR POL (BAIN AND KANEDA)
ROME FOR AF WATCHER
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU
EO 12958 DECL: 2020/02/26
TAGS PREL, PGOV, PINS, PINR, PTER, MARR, NI
SUBJECT: GOODLUCK JONATHAN REMAINS ACTING PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA
REF: ABUJA 207; FEB 24 A/S CARSON-AMB SANDERS TELCON
CLASSIFIED BY: Robin R. Sanders, Ambassador, STATE, EXEC; REASON: 1.4(A), (B), (D)
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SUMMARY
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1. (C) Ambassador met February 26 with Acting President (AgP) Dr. Goodluck Jonathan at the Vice President’s official residence, Aguda House, in Abuja to review the current political situation following the return earlier this week of ailing President Yar’Adua. Moves are afoot, between Jonathan and key northerners in the lead such as former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, to encourage the Yar’Adua family to let go and let the President resign with dignity. This will allow Jonathan to serve as interim President until elections and also allow him to designate a vice president. Given the dysfunctional level of the current Cabinet, Jonathan said that once this happens, he will dissolve the cabinet, after consulting with the Council of State. Both moves, he believes, will appease Northern politicians, as he suspects that more northerners will support the resignation idea. Jonathan claims he wants to do a good job over the next 12 months, and leave a legacy of credible elections, electoral reform, including replacing the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) chairman and all of the commissioners. He promised the Ambassador that he would look at her suggestion of using terminal leave for the INEC chairman, which could have him out earlier than June. The Acting President also agreed to allow U.S.-UK technical assistance to help improve the voter registry and provide for a parallel vote tabulation. He expects things to calm down in the next 10-14 days, will not leave the country until things are resolved, and has opened channels with the military. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) was leaving Jonathan’s private office when Ambassador was entering. End Summary.
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WHO’S IN CHARGE?
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2. (C) Jonathan told the Ambassador “everyone’s confused” about who is in charge of Nigeria. There has been an increase in the level of uncertainty in the internal political situation following ailing President Yar’Adua’s return, which was shrouded in secrecy, during the early hours February 24. The AgP said he was “unhappy” that the first statement issued following Yar’Adua’s return referred to Jonathan as “Vice President.” The GON issued a second statement February 25 that reversed course and refers to Jonathan as the Acting President. Jonathan said that the Villa received a lot of pressure to correct this error so that the lines of leadership and executive direction were clear.
3. (C) The AgP lamented, “This terrible situation in the country today has been created by four people: Turai Yar’Adua [the ailing President’s wife], his Chief Security Officer (CSO) [Yusuf Mohammed Tilde], his Aide-de-Camp (ADC)[Col. Mustapha Onoedieva] and Professor Tanimu Yakubu [Yar’Adua’s Chief Economic Advisor].” The AgP said he does not know their motives, but expected it was likely for nefarious purposes. He added Minister of Agriculture Abba Ruma and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Adamu Aliero had provided a second-tier of layering to the bubble surrounding Yar’Adua. The AgP noted that “people are angry,” and did not want to allow those surrounding Yar’Adua to replicate the control and access similar to what they had done in Jeddah for the past three months.
4. (C) Jonathan said the CSO and ADC saw him separately to let him know that they did not intend to mistreat the AgP and expressed their willingness to work with him (which the AgP doubts). The AgP said he told them both “then the best thing is to stop the charade.” The AgP told the Ambassador he believes Yar’Adua is in a semi-comatose state without an understanding of what is going on around him.
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ENCOURAGE PRESIDENT TO RESIGN
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5. (C) The AgP said that Former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who according to Jonathan has become one of his closest advisors, worked out a strategy where he would reach out to other former Nigerian Heads of State, including former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon, to approach those closest to Yar’Adua, especially his wife Turai, to try to convince them that the best, and most dignified step to take for the country and for Yar’Adua as a human being would be for the President to resign. This action would constitutionally make Jonathan Nigeria’s President. Doing such would also be easier than convincing two-thirds of the 42-member Federal Executive Committee (FEC) to declare the ailing President “physically incapacitated and medically unfit” to continue in the office of the Presidency. Jonathan said he and his wife, Patience, visited Turai as a humanistic gesture to express their best wishes for the recovery of Yar’Adua and out of respect for his ailing boss. The AgP said under no circumstances did he want Turai to come to his official residence.
6. (C) Once Yar’Adua resigns and Jonathan becomes interim President, he said he would choose a Vice President that could appease the Northerners by working with them to identify a
candidate. AgP Jonathan also shared that until Yar’Adua resigns, and things come down he would not leave the country. (N.B. This is in reference to the POTUS invitation to attend the April 12-13 Nuclear Security Summit). The issue of identifying a northerner as a vice presidential candidate, Jonathan underscored this appears to be the thing most on the minds of the northerners as they feel cheated out of the Presidency with Yar’Adua’s illness.
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FEARS ABOUT MILITARY
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7. (C) Jonathan said “everyone, including the Army Chief of Staff (COAS) [LTG Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau] and Chief of the President Guards Brigade [BG Abdul Mustapha]” are concerned about the confusion over who is the executive of the nation. The AgP said the military chiefs are making sure no politicians are reaching out to the rank-and-file, and encouraging the military to stay in the barracks so that the uncertain political situation does not generate coup-like behavior emanating from the mid-ranks because of the confusion. As the Ambassador began her meeting with the Acting President, he had just concluded a meeting with COAS LTG Dambazau (see reftel A for Ambassador’s conversation with the COAS February 24).
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USG ADVICE: BECOME A NATIONAL FIGURE
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8. (C) Based on points developed telephonically with Assistant Secretary Carson (ref B), Ambassador encouraged Jonathan to change the perception that he is a regional figure, and be seen, rather, as a national figure who has the best interest of the nation at heart. Ambassador expressed that given that the U.S. and Nigeria are very best friends, we feel the need to share our concerns, as any good friend would do, and that we are counting on him to steer Nigeria through this troubled and uncertain period. At the moment, Jonathan’s detractors believe he is a surrogate for former President Obasanjo. Ambassador advised the AgP that he needs to publicly demonstrate that he is the sole executor of national issues, not being directed or serving a political purpose for Obasanjo or others, so that his leadership would not be in question and the polity would accept that he had the best interest of nation at hand. The AgP said he appreciated our advice, including publicly holding Obasanjo at arms length. He said he would consider taking steps, including possibly convoking the entire diplomatic corps to brief them on the current political climate, using this and other events to demonstrate that he is his own man,
and diminish the appearance he is a regional leader.
9. (C) Jonathan noted that the Northern politicians would always be uncomfortable with him as president, and he understood the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) picked him as Yar’Adua’s running mate in 2007 because he represented the Niger Delta. Jonathan said he was handling Niger Delta issues until the Ministry for Niger Delta Affairs was created in September 2008, allowing him to distance himself from being viewed as someone who could only work on that issue. “I was not chosen to be Vice President because I had good political experience,” he said. “I did not. There were a lot more qualified people around to be Vice President, but that does not mean I am not my own man.” However, he said, with the changed circumstances, the AgP said that his sole focus is to leave a legacy of both electoral reform and credible elections, including changing the entire Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The AgP said he was appreciative of the Ambassador’s remarks made during the National Day reception February 25 and Assistant Secretary Carson’s February 24 statement because both provided him with the courage to press forward.
10. (C) Jonathan shared initially, he had the intention to dissolve the Cabinet early the week of February 22, and had planned to make that announcement at the February 24 FEC meeting, but found out that Yar’Adua was returning, and thus dissuaded him from acting. He said the last Cabinet meeting was disastrous and included yelling and screaming, and it is totally dysfunctional. He said he is “not a politician” and had very limited experience as an administrator, but concluded, “I will not tolerate a brawl.” Jonathan said he will dissolve the Cabinet once he knows people are more comfortable with him being the Acting President or if the current strategy to convince Yar’Adua surrogates and family members to allow the ailing president to resign.
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ELECTORAL REFORM AND INEC
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11. (C) Jonathan agreed to the USG offer of technical assistance to review and update Nigeria’s national voter registry and funding for a Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT). The AgP asked us for a letter formally offering this assistance (NB: we are providing to him today). The Ambassador noted the technical assistance could begin as early as the end of March with his approval (which he gave) with software installed that can assist with cleaning up the voter registry.
12. (C) On the INEC Chairman, Ambassador told the AgP that the USG
would not continue any election assistance if Iwu remains on seat after June 2010. She described the meeting between A/S Carson and Iwu, noting the latter showed no signs of respect for good governance. The AgP said he understood the USG would not be able to continue providing technical assistance if the current INEC chairman remains beyond his five-year mandate that ends in June 2010. Ambassador raised the issue of using Iwu’s terminal leave to get him out sooner. The AgP said he would ask the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to inquire if the current chair could take terminal leave, which could have him out as soon as next month. Jonathan again said that once he solidifies his position as Acting President or President, and that once the political environment is less uncertain, he would begin taking steps to replace all thirteen of INEC’s commissioners, and work toward replacing Iwu earlier than June provided he can confirm the amount of terminal leave Iwu has. However, the AgP noted this would not be easy, but he is committed to seeing this through.
13. (C) Jonathan said he does not anticipate standing for elections in 2011 and that he is not working towards being a presidential candidacy. He wants to put into place an electoral structure that will be ready for national elections. He did, however, note that, “if they want me to run, that will be something to consider at that time.” However, he stressed that his focus now and for the next 12 months will be on “doing a good job and witnessing respectable and credible elections in 2011.”
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FIRM UP THE PARTNERSHIP AGAINST TERRORISM
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14. (S) Ambassador raised with the AgP the case of Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed (aka “Talha”). Talha was indicted earlier this week in New York on terrorism charges. Nigeria’s State Security Service (SSS) was about to release Talha onto an international flight before Nigerian police intervened and took him into custody. Ambassador underscored that the SSS’ close call in violating an Interpol Red Notice would not be helpful in making the case for Nigeria’s removal from the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration List of “Countries of Concern.” Ambassador also asked that SSS appear as witnesses when requested to demonstrate Nigeria remains a partner to the U.S. in the international fight against terrorism. She added that at least at the Director level, SSS not only knew about the Interpol notice, but simply said they did not want to hold him any longer. Ambassador added that the GON police forces did the right thing and stepped in to block the suspect from boarding the plane. He is now in police custody. Ambassador officially requested that he be turned over to the FBI agents here to escort him to the U.S. to stand trial.
15. (S) The AgP said he would call in SSS Director General Gadzama to clarify the security agency’s role in Talha’s near-release and that if the three SSS officers implicated had taken such action without authorization, they would face serious implications, including termination. Ambassador also took the opportunity to request Jonathan stop repeating that the December 25 attempting bombing case involving Nigerian Abdulmutallab was an “one-off aberration” and that Nigeria indeed does have foreign terrorist links and elements operating in country, as exemplified by Talha.
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COMMENT
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16. (C) After two days of uncertainty, that included signals of competing heads of state emanating from the dueling titular references within a Villa press release, it appears that Jonathan has plans to firmly take the reigns of the presidency, with the support from key northerners and the senior leadership of the military. As the Ambassador stepped out of her meeting, at least two Ministers and a Governor were waiting to consult with the Acting President. The Acting President’s bottom line is that he would do his best in the job in the next twelve months. He also wanted to ensure we understood he would “not be manipulated by anyone.” We believe the USG is firmly placed to advance our bilateral agenda, including the creation of an environment conducive to free, fair, and credible elections with the approval and assistance of Nigeria’s de facto head of state. Even if he decides to contest for the presidency, Jonathan seems sincere in wanting to leave a lasting legacy of electoral reform for Africa’s most populous nation. It is always hard to judge how some will behave (or surprise you) when leadership is unexpectedly thrown in their lap. The verdict is out on Jonathan and his previously underwhelming personality and performance needs to keep us in the cautious lane, but so far, so good. Things are quiet. The COAS is doing the right things. Jonathan is reaching out to key respected northerners, like Abdulsalami, which we see as a good thing. Our next steps should be to continue to encourage the AgP on the right path; help on the push back on Obasanjo through former and current USG officials; and, if the drum beat calling for the ailing President to resign picks up speed, we should ensure that we indicate our support for this given that it probably the best thing for the country. End Comment. SANDERS

09ABUJA1907 wikileaks document Nigeria

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ABUJA1907 2009-10-20 06:06 2010-12-08 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Abuja
VZCZCXRO4227
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #1907/01 2930617
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 200617Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7262
INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS PRIORITY 2129
RUEHSA/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 0101
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
Tuesday, 20 October 2009, 06:17
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 ABUJA 001907
NOFORN
SIPDIS
DEPT PASS USAID/AFR/SD FOR CURTIS, ATWOOD AND SCHLAGENHAUF
DEPT PASS TO USTDA-PAUL MARIN, EXIM-JRICHTER
DEPT PASS TO OPIC FOR BARBARA GIBIAN AND STEVEN SMITH
DEPT PASS USTR FOR AGAMA
JOHANNESBURG FOR NAGY
USDOE FOR GEORGE PERSON
TREASURY FOR TONY IERONIMO, ADAM BARCAN, SOLOMAN AND RITTERHOFF
EO 12958 DECL: 02/04/2029
TAGS EPET, ENRG, EINV, ECON, ETRD, PGOV, NI
SUBJECT: (C) SHELL MD DISCUSSES THE STATUS OF THE PROPOSED PETROLEUM
INDUSTRY BILL
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Dundas McCullough for reasons 1.4. (b & d).
Ref: Abuja 1836
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SUMMARY
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1. (C) Shell EVP for Shell Companies in Africa met with the Ambassador on October 13 to discuss the status of the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill. She said the GON wanted the National Assembly to pass the bill by November 17 and that the international oil companies would have to move quickly if the House passed the bill in the coming weeks. She said there was “total alignment” among the IOCs and with the Nigerian oil companies. She said it would be helpful if the Embassy would continue to deliver low-level messages of concern and call on the Speaker of the House to see where he stood on the bill. She expected the situation in the Niger Delta to be “quiet” until the end of the year but would get “out-of-hand” when the election cycle starts up at the end of the year. Shell’s views of the PIB track closely with ExxonMobil’s views as reported in reftel. END SUMMARY.
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CURRENT STATUS OF THE PIB
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2. (C) Shell EVP for Shell Companies in Africa Ann Pickard met with the Ambassador at the Embassy on October 13. The DCM and Economic Counselor joined the Ambassador, and XXXXXXXXXXXX accompanied Pickard. The Ambassador asked Pickard for her views about the status of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). Pickard said the GON wanted the National Assembly to pass the bill by November 17 in order for the GON to be able to announce it at the upcoming CWC Gulf of Guinea Conference in London November 17-19. She said that if the House passes the PIB in the coming weeks, “we need to move quickly” to obtain any necessary changes before it becomes law. Fortunately, she added, “We are working with the House and the House appears to want to work with us.” She continued that if the Senate passes the PIB, “We aren’t worried.” Unfortunately, she explained, “We think the Senate will pass a bad bill” but it won’t really matter. She added that she would be at the Nigerian House and Senate later that day and would let the Embassy know if there were any unexpected developments.
3. (C) The Ambassador asked if Shell had had engagements with the GON outside the National Assembly, such as with the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria. Pickard said, “We are meeting with them at all levels.” She noted that an IMF team headed by Charles McPherson was in Abuja to look at the PIB and that Shell would be meeting with them as well. In contrast, she said, “We are worried about the World Bank’s political agenda and it is not clear what their agenda is.” She said the World Bank was working on how to make the IJVs “bankable” so that they would be able to go to international and domestic banks for financing.
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GAS FLARING AND CLIMATE CHANGE
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4. (C) Pickard said the PIB requires an end to gas flaring by 2010. She said the industry won’t be able to do that due to the lack of QShe said the industry won’t be able to do that due to the lack of investment and security. Shell is ahead of the other IOCs and could be ready by 2011. Shell would have to spend $4 billion to do this, but the GON would also have to fund its part and that is a risk. Shell would shut in oil production in fields where it is uneconomic to end gas flaring, and it would let others have the gas for free where it is economic to do so.
5. (C) Pickard continued that NNPC General Managing Director Dr. Mohammed Barkindo was interested in doing something on climate change in preparation for the climate change summit in Copenhagen December 6-18. Barkindo was spread pretty thin so Shell will ask him how they can help him prepare for the summit. She added that Shell had recently told the oil producing countries that coal will squeeze out oil as a result of the CO2 footprint issue if the oil producing
ABUJA 00001907 002 OF 004
countries and IOCs do not do more to address the issue.
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POTENTIAL BENEFITS
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6. (C) Pickard summarized the PIB’s potential benefits. The creation of fully integrated and independently functioning international joint ventures (IJVs) would solve the oil and gas industry’s longstanding funding problems if the proposed IJVs are done right. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) was previously forced to reduce its ownership of some existing joint ventures to 49 percent to make them profitable enough to obtain financing. The proposed division of responsibilities between the NNPC and the Directorate of Petroleum Resources also would be good. The IOCs currently do not know if the NNPC is their partner or regulator.
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COHESION WITHIN THE INDUSTRY
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7. (C) The Ambassador asked if the industry was united in its approach to the PIB. Pickard replied that there was “total alignment with the international oil companies at every level.” She acknowledged that Shell had more exposure to the loss of acreage than any other company. “We could lose 80 percent of our acreage,” she said. The problem comes from the fact that the PIB will redefine how a company can hold on to its exploration and production blocks, limiting what can be kept to two kilometers around each well. “Everyone offshore loses a lot,” she continued. “We will have to bring satellites on fast or we will lose the blocks.” However, the problem with that is that the companies have to be able to pass things through to the blocks quickly and it takes years to get a rig in due to delays in the Nigerian approval process. (NOTE: Pickard told Econoff in Lagos that Shell “sent away” three platforms in late September. END NOTE.)
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ALIGNMENT WITH NIGERIAN OIL COMPANIES
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8. (C) The Ambassador asked about the IOCs’ alignment with the Nigerian oil companies. Pickard replied that “the Nigerian companies are with us” because they will be taxed at the same rate in the current version of the PIB. The IOCs are starting to see what the Nigerian companies want to do.
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THE USG’S ROLE
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9. (C) The Ambassador asked what the Embassy could do to help with the Joint House Committee on Petroleum Upstream and Downstream and Justice that is working on the PIB. Pickard said she hoped the current level of dialogue between the GON and the IOCs continues. Unfortunately, “We have not been able to meet with President Yar’Adua for nine months,” she said. “They have him protected.” She said it would be helpful if the Embassy would continue to deliver low-level messages of concern. In particular, she thought it would be helpful for the Embassy to call on Speaker of the House Dimeji Bankoke to see where he stood on the bill. Beyond that, she would like to keep the Embassy in reserve and use it as a “silver bullet” if the PIB passes the House. The Ambassador noted that the U.S., U.K., Dutch and Qthe House. The Ambassador noted that the U.S., U.K., Dutch and French Embassies had already made a joint call on NNPC General Managing Director Dr. Mohammed Barkindo.
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CHINA’S INTEREST IN NIGERIA’S OIL BLOCKS
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10. (C) Pickard mentioned China’s recently reported interest in Nigeria’s oil blocks. She said Shell had received a copy of the letter that Special Advisor to the President on Petroleum Matters Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah had sent to the Chinese which said that their offer for oil exploration blocks was not good enough. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Odein Ajumogobia had denied that the letter
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had been sent, but later conceded that the GON was only “benchmarking” to see what the IOCs should pay for shallow-water licenses. Pickard said Shell had good sources to show that their data had been sent to both China and Russia. She said the GON had forgotten that Shell had seconded people to all the relevant ministries and that Shell consequently had access to everything that was being done in those ministries.
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CHANGING RESPONSIBILITIES WITHIN THE GON’S TEAM
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11. (C) Pickard observed that there might be changes with how the GON management of the petroleum sector is organized. Minister of Petroleum Resources Rilwanu Lukman may be given the responsibility for implementing the PIB, while Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Ajumogobia may get the Directorate of Petroleum Resources and ongoing business. The problem with these changes is that the GON could still get “unempowered people” who are not able to address the issues. The question is whether Ajumogobia would be able to step up. (NOTE: Press reports on October 17 reported that Lukman will be given overall responsibility for the formulation of policy, and oversee the implementation of the PIB, the Integrated Joint Venture negotiation and rollout, the fiscal terms transition and implementation, the new organization implementation, and stakeholder management. We will also supervise the NNPC and its subsidiaries, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the African Petroleum Producers Association, and the University of Petroleum. Ajumogobia will be in charge of the Gas Master Plan Transition Implementation, the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, the alternative fuels, and the Petroleum Equalization Fund. He will also oversee the Directorate of Petroleum Resources, the Petroleum Training Institute and the Pricing Regulatory Agency. END NOTE.)
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SHELL’S CURRENT PRODUCTION
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12. (C) The Ambassador asked about the level of Shell’s current operations. Pickard said Shell was producing 663,000 barrels per day as of October 13, including the Bonga field. Approximately 80,000 barrels per day had been brought back from the Forcados field on the previous day. Some 900,000 barrels per day of capacity was still shut in. Of that, Shell could bring back 600,000 barrels per day, while the remaining 300,000 barrels per day is “too unreachable.”
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AMNESTY IN THE NIGER DELTA
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13. (C) The Ambassador asked Pickard what she thought about the future of the GON’s amnesty offer to militants in the Niger Delta. She responded that Shell expected the situation in the Niger Delta to be “quiet” until the end of the year. It will then get “out-of-hand” when the election cycle starts up in December, January and February. She expressed particular concern about Bayelsa State, home to Shell’s 500,000 barrel-per-day capacity Bonny field. Pickard also noted that Q500,000 barrel-per-day capacity Bonny field. Pickard also noted that Shell saw Israeli security experts in Bayelsa, but not in the Delta, and that there had been “a big drop in kidnapping” as a result.
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Looking Ahead
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COMMENT
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15. (C) Shell’s views of the PIB and the alignment among the IOCs and with the Nigerian oil companies track closely with the views of ExxonMobil, as reported in reftel. The main difference is that Shell tends to minimize the different tax concerns and financial vulnerabilities of the individual IOCs. Shell is much more vulnerable than the other IOCs because its operations are concentrated in less favorable JV concessions that are located in the violence-prone Niger Delta. ExxonMobil and Chevron’s operations are concentrated in more favorable production sharing contracts (PSC) in the relatively violence-free offshore areas. In the event that the PIB retains negative terms or violence returns to the Delta, Shell can be expected to hurt the most and cry the loudest.
16. (U) Embassy Abuja coordinated this telegram with ConGen Lagos.
SANDERS

Sir Alan Sugar under fire over 'Nigeria insult' on The Apprentice

Abujacity.com_alan

 

 

By  Martin Bentham,

He is used to handing out the criticism. But today Lord Sugar was on the receiving end as Nigeria's High Commissioner in London accused him of insulting millions of his countrymen.

In a statement, His Excellency Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida accused the Apprentice boss of making “demeaning” and “spurious” comments about the African country on his hit BBC show The Apprentice.

His Excellency accuses the peer of smearing Nigeria's reputation with an “unprovoked” and “damaging” attack based on his sordid dealings with one individual.

It comes after Lord Sugar suggested that Nigerians could not be trusted over financial promises.

During the opening episode of The Apprentice, the peer asked contestant Stuart Baggs why he should not be “fired” from the show.

 

Read the rest of the story here