President Muhammad Buhari on Tuesday said that $311m repatriated to Nigeria has been allocated and would be used to fund some “decades-overdue infrastructure development” in the country.
President Buhari, who made this known through a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the $311m received from the US on Monday would be used in funding the second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kaduna-Kano expressways, and Mambilla Power Project.
He said, “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 – creating tens of thousands of Nigerian construction jobs and local skills, which can then be useful in future projects.
“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 receipt of these stolen monies – and the hundreds of millions more that have already been returned from the United Kingdom and Switzerland – are an opportunity for the development of our nation, made far harder for those decades the country was robbed of these funds.”
President Buhari also said that the previous Abacha loot returned to the country from Switzerland last year was already being used for the government free school feeding programme, stipends for millions of disadvantaged citizens and that the fight against COVID-19 would have been hard without the funds.
He said, “Indeed, previous monies returned last year from Switzerland – some $320 million US dollars – are already being used for the government’s free school feeding scheme, a stipend for millions of disadvantaged citizens, and grain grants for those in severe food hardship.
“Without these funds, the fight against Covid-19 would be even tougher.”