The presidency said $311 million in loot by the late former military head of state, General Sani Abacha, who was repatriated to the country, was paid directly to contractors for various works carried out for the government.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant for Public Affairs, Ajuri Ngelale, said so during a virtual town hall meeting on Twitter. According to him, the direct payment was to prevent the National Assembly and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) from misappropriating the money.
The federal government had received $311,797,866.11 as of May as part of assets recovered from the former military dictator. The fund, which was repatriated from the United States and the Bailiwick of Jersey, pledged to accelerate the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan highway, the Abuja-Kano road and the second Niger bridge.
“So you have three major projects under the PIDF that we were able to finance directly to the contractor through the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
And Nigerians have seen the truth about it, we don’t have to brag about it or talk about it because they can see it. Whether it is a second bridge over the Niger, the Lagos-Ibadan highway or the Abuja-Kano, they know the work in progress, it is not disputed.
And due to the structure of the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund designed by President Muhammadu Buhari, no one, no intermediary can put their finger on a kobo of this money on $1 of this money.
And, of course, we were able to galvanize more other funding inflows from, of course, Abacha’s loot, signing agreements with the US government and Jersey authorities to ensure that $311 million is reinvested in these three projects, with each project taking approximately $103 million or 33.3% of Abacha’s total loot that was fired.
So this is another one where we were able to mobilize private and public funding to be able to put that money directly into the hands of entrepreneurs without diversion from the National Assembly, without diversion from MDAs, and all that. he said