THE Presidency has said that the latest recovery of the stolen loot, the $311 million by former late Head of State, Sani Abacha would be used in full, for vital and decades-overdue infrastructure development.
Garuba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity disclosed this on Tuesday in a series of tweets on his verified Twitter handle.
“On Monday, May 4, 2020, some $311 million US Dollars – stolen from the citizens of Nigeria during the Abacha regime – were safely returned to our country from the United States,” Shehu 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.
— Garba Shehu (@GarShehu) May 5, 2020
Listing the infrastructural projects that would benefit from the money, Shehu included the second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kaduna-Kano expressways.
Part of the funds, he added would also be invested in the Mambilla Power Project which, which when completed, “will provide electricity to some three million homes – over ten million citizens – in our country.”
The presidential spokesperson stated that the receipt of these stolen monies – and the hundreds of millions more that have already been returned from the United Kingdom and Switzerland – were an opportunity for the development of the nation, made far harder for those decades the country was robbed of these funds
He explained that the previous monies returned last year from Switzerland – some $320 million US dollars – were 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,” Shehu said.
According to him, the latest return was a testament to the growing and deepening relationship between the government of Nigeria and the government of the United States.
He noted that without the cooperation both from the UK Government, the US Executive branch and US Congress, Nigerian government would not have achieved the return of these funds at all.
“For years many countries deemed successive Nigerian administrations as too corrupt, too venal and too likely to squander and re-steal the stolen monies – so they did not return the funds.”
“Today, US, UK and other jurisdictions have found the partnership with the nation of Nigeria they can finally trust.”
Shehu stated that the Buhari Administration was committed to – and was enacting – total and zero tolerance to corruption in politics and public administration.
He said: “The days when government was seen and used by the political class as their personal ATM to empty are over.”
“The time of better governance and clean hands in the affairs of state is here to stay.”