The Federal Government has made a commitment to spend the sum of over $311 million(N112.559 billion) recovered Abacha loot, split into equal amounts of N37.519 billion each, on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge and Abuja- Kano Road projects.
The commitment is part of the agreement reached by the Federal Government of Nigeria, The Bailiwick of Jersey and the Government of the United States of America, regarding the sharing, transfer, repatriation, disposition and management of certain forfeited assets.
In the agreement seen by Yinkfold, the three governments agreed that the forfeited assets ($311million), “shall be utilized exclusively for the purpose of financing the projects (Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge and Abuja-Kano Road).”
The agreement also states, “The forfeited assets shall not be used to fund any financial obligation in relation to the projects that arose prior to the entry into force of this Agreement.
“The parties agree that the ‘other sources of capital,’ referred to in Schedule 3, are envisaged to be raised by the NSIA by commercial means, including by a substantial bond issue. However, in the event that the NSIA is unable to raise sufficient funds, the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria agrees to provide sufficient funds to ensure that the projects are completed.”
In the Article 16 of the agreement, the parties agreed to combine their efforts to fight corruption in connection with the projects and the forfeited assets “and warrant to each other that no offer, donation, payment, remuneration or advantage in any form whatsoever that may be considered as an illicit act or a form of corruption, has been or shall be granted to anyone, directly or indirectly, with the aim of obtaining a benefit in relation to the projects, the forfeited assets or this Agreement.
“The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria agrees to inform the other parties immediately in the event that any credible allegation or other indication of fraud or corruption in connection with the projects, the forfeited assets or this Agreement comes to its attention.
“The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall: (a) take timely and appropriate action to investigate such allegations or other indications; (b) report regularly to the other parties on the progress of such investigations and, promptly after their conclusion, on its findings and the actions the Government of Nigeria takes in response to the findings; and (c) in the event that the investigation substantiates that fraud or corruption has occurred, promptly reimburse the NSIA Designated Account in full for any funds that may have been lost, misappropriated or inappropriately disbursed, expended or used and take such other action as may be necessary or appropriate to remedy the damage caused by the fraudulent or corrupt act(s).”
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had on May 4, 2020, announced the receipt of over $311 million of the Abacha loot, repatriated from the US and The Bailiwick of New Jersey.
Conversion Rate: N361 to a dollar.