Fact Sheet: The United States and Nigeria: Energy, Labor, Law Enforcement, Environment, Democracy and Biotechnology
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                             (Abuja, Nigeria )
For Immediate Release                                   August 26, 2000

                                FACT SHEET

      The United States and Nigeria:  Energy, Labor, Law Enforcement,
                  Environment, Democracy and Biotechnology

Since the election of President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, the United
States and Nigeria have renewed strong bilateral relations.  Today, the
United States announced initiatives in a number of fields that will further
intensify cooperation and improve overall relations between the two

Energy.  The United States announced a number of projects that will help
build Nigeria's energy infrastructure and improve access to energy for
Nigerians.  Even though Nigeria is an energy producing country, it faces
enormous difficulties in providing regular and affordable energy to its own
citizens.  Nigeria's energy infrastructure is very underdeveloped, and the
U.S. Department of Energy has been working in Nigeria to help Nigeria
reform its energy sector, including:
? the finalization and implementation of a program on energy sector reform
and restructuring;
? a framework for the development of a domestic gas infrastructure in
Nigeria; and
? further development of the upstream and downstream oil sectors, rural
electrification and capacity-building.

Labor. The United States announced a number of initiatives that the United
States and Nigeria both hope will address the dramatic unemployment
situation in Nigeria, including:
? A $500,000 Labor Exchange Program with the Government of Nigeria and the
Lagos State Government.  The goal of the program is to establish effective
and efficient Labor Exchange services in Lagos that will serve as a model
for the improvement of employment services country-wide and provide
employment services in Lagos on a pilot basis;
? A two year, $2 million initiative to assist the Government of Nigeria
with improving the state of industrial relations in Nigeria.  The funds
will provide training assistance for trade unions and employers in relevant
labor laws, the promotion of collective bargaining, conflict prevention and
dispute resolution and the strengthening of executive and judicial systems
responsible for administering national labor law.  These programs are
designed to help social partners rebuild their organizations and strengthen
their capacity to consult and negotiate agreements and resolve disputes;

? In addition, on August 8, 2000, the Nigerian Government and the
International Labor Organization signed a Memorandum of Understanding to
establish a national program to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in
Nigeria.  This initiative is funded by the United States Department of
Labor, which has committed $718,928 for the National Program to Eliminate
Child Labor in Nigeria and $282,613 for a statistical program aimed at
generating reliable date on child labor in Nigeria. This is an important
step in Nigeria's efforts to qualify for eligibility under the Africa
Growth and Opportunity Act; and

? a Veterans Employment Services Program to prepare departing service
members for civilian employment and establish a resettlement center.

Law enforcement. To help combat rampant crime in the region, the United
States is expanding anti-crime programs throughout Africa.  In particular,
the United States is offering assistance programs for Nigerian law
enforcement organizations.  These training programs have included courses
in basic and advanced narcotics interdiction, financial crimes, fraud
investigation, border control, document fraud, institutional fraud, police
science and anti corruption techniques.

The environment.  The United States will assist in computerizing and
providing Internet connectivity and wireless capability to the Nigerian
Ministry of the Environment and offer the Nigerian government training on
chemicals management.  Government officials responsible for the safe
management of chemicals and the production, importation and use of
pesticides will be provided with access to these computers, internet
subscription and training by EPA officials.

Democracy and good governance.  The United States announced funding for an
initiative to build partnerships among the U.S. government, the Nigerian
government, residents of the Niger Delta and oil companies to promote
democratic governance, transparency and sustainable long-term economic
development in the Niger Delta.

Specifically, this initiative will provide technical assistance to inform
basic decision-making on governance issues and development projects in the
Niger Delta.  It will build on U.S. companies' already-existing community
relations and development efforts in Nigeria and launch a Delta-wide
stakeholder dialogue with the Nigerian Government's leadership.  Under this
initiative, which involves USAID and the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria,
participants will receive training to develop their conflict resolution and
advocacy skills and raise awareness of human rights issues, developing
mechanisms to address these concerns and promote corporate best practices.

Biotechnology.  In November 2000, the United States will fund a workshop at
the International Institute of Tropical Research in Ibadan, Nigeria.  The
workshop will bring together scientists, scholars, members of the private
sector and NGOs from twelve sub-Saharan African countries to develop an
overall plan for a new partnership in biotechnology research and
development to address the agricultural needs of sub-Saharan Africa.
Biotechnology research can help improve nutritional levels; develop better
quality, higher value crops; and expand opportunities for trade and
investment. Nigeria will have a leadership role in the application of new
research method thanks to its state of the art research facilities and

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