$311m Abacha loot: Repatriation of funds, a sign of trust in Nigeria - Dove Bulletin - Online News Bulletin

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$311m Abacha loot: Repatriation of funds, a sign of trust in Nigeria

FG gets $311m Abacha loot
The Presidency has described recent repatriation of a sum of $311 million to Nigeria by the government of the United States of America (USA) as a sign of growing respect for Nigeria and its government.

The Presidency also noted that the fund, just like those earlier repatriated from countries like the United Kingdom (UK) and Switzerland, had been earmarked for specific critical infrastructural projects in different parts country.

In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the Presidency noted that unlike in during the period of previous administrations, when foreign countries lacked the courage to return such recovered stolen funds to the country, due to fears of lack of transparency and possibility of such funds being looted all over again, repatriations were happening now because the Buhari administration had proven to be trustworthy.

“On Monday, May 4, 2020, some $311 million US Dollars – stolen from the citizens of Nigeria during the Abacha regime – were safely returned to our country from the United States.

“The latest return is a testament to the growing and deepening relationship between the government of Nigeria and the government of the United States.

“Without the cooperation both from the UK Government, the US Executive branch and US Congress, we would not have achieved the return of these funds at all.

“For years many countries deemed successive Nigerian administrations as too corrupt, too venal and too likely to squander and re-steal the stolen monies – so they did not return the funds.

“Today, US, UK and other jurisdictions have found the partnership with the nation of Nigeria they can finally trust.

“The Buhari Administration is committed to – and is enacting – total and zero tolerance to corruption in politics and public administration.

“The days when government was seen and used by the political class as their personal ATM to empty are over. The time of better governance and clean hands in the affairs of state is here to stay”, the statement said.

It also observed that the refunds that had so far been made from the various caches of the Abacha loot from different countries of the world, had been instrumental in fixing, to a large extent, the nation’s infrastructural deficits, adding that it had helped in the fight against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic in the country.

“These funds have already been allocated, and will be used in full, for vital and decades-overdue infrastructure development: The second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kaduna-Kano expressways – creating tens of thousands of Nigerian construction jobs and local skills, which can then be useful in future projects.

“Part of the funds will also be invested in the Mambilla Power Project which, when completed, will provide electricity to some three million homes – over ten million citizens – in our country.

“The receipt of these stolen monies – and the hundreds of millions more that have already been returned from the United Kingdom and Switzerland – are an opportunity for the development of our nation, made far harder for those decades the country was robbed of these funds.

“Indeed, previous monies returned last year from Switzerland – some $320 million US dollars – are already being used for the government’s free school feeding scheme, a stipend for millions of disadvantaged citizens, and grain grants for those in severe food hardship.

“Without these funds, the fight against Covid-19 would be even tougher”, the statement said.
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