Nigeria moves to repatriate $500m from U.S., Germany, France

The Presidency has said efforts are ongoing to repatriate another tranche of $500 million looted funds from United States, Germany and France next month.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reform, Juliet Ibekaku, said negotiation was in top gear and civil society organisations (CSOs) would be involved in the repatriation and disbursement of the money.

Ibekaku, who doubles as National Coordinator on Open Government Partnership (OGP), told a one-way pre-OGP summit dialogue yesterday in Abuja that the treatment of the first batch of $322 million had elicited confidence in the current administration with respect to management of funds.

She stressed that the money must get to the people, urging the CSOs to always interrogate government on utilisation of returned assets.

Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Maryam Uwais, confirmed discussions with the World Poverty Data Lab to review the nation’s poverty rate and the statistics deployed but found out they were those of 2012-2013.

She pointed out that the indicators were slightly different from what Nigeria considered.

Uwais said the global body’s criteria included the crisis in the North East, urging the CSOs and other stakeholders to ensure the poorest of the poor got the funds to enhance their living conditions.

The Executive Director of African Network for Environment and Economic and Justice (ANEEJ), David Ugolor, said their partners had worked with 500 monitors in 11states to assess the disbursement of Abacha loot for the cash transfer programme and discovered that about 80 per cent of the funds had been disbursed.

He stated: “Findings revealed that $33 million was released for six months from Abacha loot and 80 per cent of the money has been paid as at August to September 2018.”

The activist urged government to release the balance to states yet to benefit

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