The recovered $311m Abacha loot will be used on major construction works across the country. The money will be used on Lagos-Ibadan and Second Niger Bridge. The U.S said Nigeria would be forced to replace the $318m if stolen again.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Tuesday said the recovered money looted by the late former Head of State, General Sani Abacha, will be used on major projects across the country.
Malami, who also serve as the Minister of Justice, said the recovered $311m Abacha loot will be used on the construction of Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, Abuja – Kano Expressway and the Second Niger bridge.
General Sanni Abacha, who ruled Nigeria between 1993 and 1998, is believed to have diverted over $4bn from the nation’s treasury. Over $1bn has been recovered from his loot so far.
While signing an agreement on the repatriation of the money with the United States and the authorities of Jersey Island in Washington DC on Tuesday, Malam said :
“As you are aware, the government of Nigeria has committed that the assets will support and assist in expediting the construction of three major infrastructure projects across Nigeria: the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, Abuja – Kano Road and the Second Niger Bridge.
“These projects are being executed under the supervision of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority as a Public Private Partnership that will boost economic growth and help alleviate poverty by connecting people and supply chains from the East to the West and to the Northern part of Nigeria, a vast area covering several kilometers with millions of the country’s population set to benefit from the road infrastructure.”
“Without the commitment of the three parties to the agreement, the legal experts and attorneys representing Nigeria, it would have been impossible to achieve the success recorded today.
The Jersey Island Attorney-General Designate said:
“This agreement represents the culmination of two decades of intensive work by Law Officers in Jersey, the U.S. and Nigeria.
“The return of the assets to Nigeria had been delayed by a number of hard-fought challenges by third parties, which were defeated in the courts in Jersey and the U.S.
Recovered loot must not be relooted, US Warned Nigerian
The United States has warned that the $311m Gen. Sani Abacha loot must be placed in an account and must not be stolen. The US said Nigeria would be forced to replace the money if stolen.
Spokesperson for the US State Department, Morgan Ortagus, said in a statement this was one of the agreements between the US, Nigeria and the Island of Jersey, where the funds are being kept.
Parts of the statement reads that :
“The funds will be used by the Nigerian Independent Sovereign Authority for three infrastructure projects in strategic economic zones across Nigeria.
“To ensure that the funds are used responsibly and for the good of the nation, the agreement includes mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of these projects as well as external oversight, and it requires Nigeria to repay any funds lost as a result of any new corruption or fraud to the account established to hold the returned assets.
“This return reflects the growing international consensus that countries must work together to ensure stolen assets are returned in a transparent and accountable manner.”
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