Selected Extracts from the WikiLeaks site on oil concerns,piracy, bribery and worries about Yar’Adua’s declining health (continued):
YAR'AUDA VACATION IS PERHAPS SOMETHING ELSE - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ¶7. (S/NF) Pickard agreed that the President's health is a guessing game. She said that in her recent meetings with Yar'Auda he seems alert but drawn in the face and frail. She reported that a Julius Berger (protect) contact says that the President was not in danger of dying soon but has serious ailments from which he will never fully recover. Pickard shared that Berger provides transportation including planes for the President and has reportedly flown in doctors and technicians to attend the President (reftel). She said, for instance, that her Berger contact confided that they flew the President from Germany to Saudi in September 2008. Additionally, the Berger contact thought the President would not return to the Villa ABUJA 00000259 003 OF 003 offices, as they were moving the President's personal things out of the Villa. (Note: What we think this means is that Yar'Adua is spending most of his time in the presidential residence and not in the Villa offices. End Note). - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - HOPES THAT OIL NATIONALISM CAN BE TEMPERED - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ¶8. (C) The Ambassador asked how comfortable Shell was with the new appointment of Dr. Rilwanu Lukman as Minister of Petroleum Resources, and the appointment of Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo as the new NNPC GMD. Pickard sees the nationalism card cooling with the removal of former NNPC GMD Yar'Adua, given that new Minister of Petroleum Lukman is more "pragmatic" and will hold sway over deputy Minister Ajumogobia. (Note: Ajumogobia's technical assistant told EconOff in a meeting on January 14, 2009 that the State Minister was focusing on Gas, since before the mass cabinet change he was State Minster of Petroleum, with a separate State Minster for Gas.) End Note. She said she was also okay with NNPC chief Barkindo. She has worked with Barkindo several times over the past few decades, especially when they were both working climate change. She said Barkindo led Nigeria's technical delegation to climate change negotiations that produced the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)and the Kyoto protocol to UNFCCC during while he served on its Bureau at various times. She indicated that although his undergraduate studies were in political science, he obtained his MBA from Southeastern University in Washington DC and did postgraduate work in petroleum economics and management at Oxford University. Although she also said terms like nationalistic and Chavez she however said that she thought he could be steered in the right direction on the petroleum sector. - - - - COMMENT - - - - ¶9. (C) Although Pickard clearly seems frustrated with the way things are going in the maritime security, oil sector legislation, and corruption which affects Shell's bottom line, it was useful to hear that she has hopes for the new Petroleum Minister and NNPC chief. Septel on the Ambassador's meeting with new Petroleum Minister Lukman will address many of these same issues. ¶10. (U) This cable was coordinated with Consulate Lagos.