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FG utilises Abacha loot, IDA credit judiciously, says Buhari’s aide

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Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Maryam Uwais

Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, has said that the Federal Government, through the National Social Investment Office (NSIO), has been channelling the recovered Abacha loot and the International Development Association (IDA)/World Bank credit to poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

Mrs. Uwais, who said the funds, which are specifically being disbursed to beneficiaries of the National Cash Transfer Programme, noted that the gesture was positively changing the fortunes of many Nigerians who found themselves below the poverty line.

The beneficiaries, The Guardian learnt, were based on the data collated in the communities and hosted on the National Social Register (NSR).

She disclosed this yesterday while delivering a keynote address at Experts’ Training and Advocacy on Tracing and Recovery of Illicit Funds and Assets organised by the Human Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

According to her, from the August/September 2018 to the September/October payment cycle, the cumulative value disbursed from the Abacha loot and IDA credit was $103,667,558 (about N37.568 billion).

She said the decision to distribute the funds to poor and vulnerable citizens, who are mined from the NSR, collated by the National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office (NASSCO), was reached by the Swiss government, the World Bank and the Federal Government to ensure that the funds were well utilised.

Her words, “On December 2014, a Swiss judge gave a Forfeiture Order to the effect that monies ($322.5 million) recovered from the family of the late General Sani Abacha would be returned to Nigeria, one of the conditions being that the World Bank would be involved in monitoring disbursements therefrom.

“Presumably, this was as a consequence of the opaqueness that surrounded the application of recovered funds.”

Lamenting the negative impact of corruption on Nigerians, particularly the poor, Mrs. Uwais imagined the significant progress that Nigeria would have made in terms of service delivery if the money looted by a few had been judiciously utilised.

The Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil Education (CHRICED) will deploy 321 trackers to monitor disbursement in Kano, Katsina, Kaduna and Jigawa states.

Addressing a press conference yesterday at the opening of capacity building exercise for the trackers in Kano, executive director of CHRICED, Dr. Ibrahim Zikirullahi, emphasised that the training was designed to equip the monitors with skills and information that will enable them track the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) disbursement.


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