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Presidency says $311m returned Abacha loot will fund 2nd Niger Bridge, other projects

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Nigerian Government on Tuesday said the $311 million it received from looted funds by former dictator Sani Abacha will be used to fund ongoing projects 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,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement.

Shehu said the projects will help the government in creating tens of thousands of Nigerian construction jobs and local skills, which can be useful in future projects.

The presidential spokesman said “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 Nigerian government on Monday announced the repatriation of $311,797,866.11 recovered assets of Late General Sani Abacha.

The money was repatriated from the United States and the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Attorney-General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said in a statement.

The statement, signed by Malami’s spokesman Umar Gwandu, disclosed that the litigation process for the return of the assets titled ‘Abacha III’ commenced in 2014 while the diplomatic process that culminated in the signing of the Asset Return Agreement commenced in 2018.

Shehu noted that the receipt of these stolen monies that have already been returned from the United Kingdom and Switzerland are an opportunity for the development of Nigeria.

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

The presidential spokesman noted that 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,” Shehu said.


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