Less than one week ago, Nigerians took to social media to express gratitude over stolen $311 million (N118 billion) repatriated by the United States Government. Being part of the money looted by the country’s former Head of State, late Gen. Sani Abacha within his five-year rule.
The US Embassy in Nigeria has however revealed that there is a separate additional $319 million (N121 billion) Abacha loot still in the United Kingdom and France, THE DAILY VENDOR reports.
According to a statement by the US Embassy in Nigeria, the US government on May 1 completed the transfer of $311,797,876 to the Nigeria government. US said it was in accordance with a February 3, 2020 trilateral agreement between the governments of US, Nigeria and Bailiwick of Jersey.
“On May 1, the transfer of $311,797,876 from the United States Government to the Federal Republic of Nigeria was completed in accordance with a February 3, 2020 trilateral agreement among the governments of the United States, Nigeria and the Bailiwick of Jersey to repatriate assets the United States forfeited that were traceable to the former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and his co-conspirators.” US Embassy wrote.
Continuing, The US explained that part of the condition for the repatriation of the fund was that it would be used for three infrastructure projects in strategic economic zones in the country. That it will help finance the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja-Kano road.
“These funds will be used by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority for three infrastructure projects in strategic economic zones across Nigeria, as authorized by the Nigerian government. The recovered funds will help finance the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja-Kano road. These investments will support Nigeria’s economic development and benefit all of the Nigerian people. The agreement includes mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of these projects as well as external oversight,” the statement said.
“This transfer of funds is an important first step in the disciplined implementation of the agreement. Nigeria’s continued vigilance, transparency, and accountability will ensure continued progress in the implementation. The United States looks forward to continuing to work with the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its civil society partners to combat corruption and to ensure a successful outcome in the return of these funds. The fight against corruption is an investment in the future of Nigeria.”
“The funds returned last week are distinct and separate from an additional $167 million in stolen assets also forfeited in the United Kingdom and France, as well as $152 million still in active litigation in the United Kingdom,” the statement said.