Contrary to initial proposition that part of the returned Abacha Loot would be used to fund the completion of the Second Niger Bridge, the special adviser to the president on social investment, Maryam Uwais has said, the attention of government is to use the funds under its conditional cash transfers to some Nigerians.
She stated this in an interview with the Cable news.
According to her, “the recovered funds from the Abacha loot would be applied to the cash transfer project.”
President Muhammadu Buhari served under the dark government of late Abacha as the Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), the government that has been credited to have looted unimaginable amount of money belonging to Nigeria. He had denied Abacha had looted.
Billions of dollars of the looted funds have been returned to Nigeria. The latest was conditioned on capital projects.
But special adviser said, “The decision of the Swiss court is that the World Bank must help in monitoring the disbursement and use of that money.
“It was a precondition for the release of that money. The World Bank was not even privy to this decision so the World Bank said to the FGN that wherever you want to channel this money, please let it be on a platform that we have already monitoring processes and structures so it is not an added expense.
“Government now says the cash transfer programme is transparent, efficient and impacting on our people therefore we shall channel it to cash transfers for the beneficiaries on the social register.
Government has signed an MOU with the Swiss government that all the restituted funds will be channelled to cash transfers.
“The money involved now is $321 million. The Swiss want the money to be judiciously used and past experience has shown that the monies released could not be accounted for, and they don’t want that to happen again and they also trust in the credibility of the World Bank. That is why the both the government and the World Bank are in this partnership,” she said.