The Nigerian government has confirmed the receipt of $311m looted by late military ruler, Sani Abacha, from the government of the United States of America.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami made the confirmation in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Umar Gwandu on Monday.
The statement said $311,797,866.11 of the Abacha loot was repatriated from the US after an agreement was reached between the Nigerian and US governments.
Under the agreement that saw the U.S Justice Department repatriate the looted funds, Nigeria is to invest the money in key infrastructure projects, specifically the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, Abuja – Kano Road, and the Second Niger Bridge.
Malami in the statement said, “The amount increased significantly from over $308 million as stated in a press release in February to over $311 million because of the interest that accrued from February 3, 2020, to 28th April, 2020, when the fund was transferred to the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
This agreement, he said, was based on international law and cooperation measures that set out the procedures for the repatriation, transfer, disposition and management of the assets.
He said, “The recovery effort further consolidates on the established record of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government which has a history of recovery of $322m from Switzerland in 2018 which is being transparently and judiciously deployed in supporting indigent Nigerians as specified in the agreement signed with the Switzerland and the World Bank.”
According to the AGF, “In line with the 2020 Asset Return Agreement, the fund has been transferred to a Central Bank of Nigeria Asset Recovery designated account and would be paid to the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) within the next fourteen days. The NSIA is responsible for the management and execution of the projects to which the funds will be applied.”