THE Presidency has said that part of the latest return of 311 million dollars ‘Abacha loot’ from the United States will be invested in the Mambilla Power Project as well as boosting the ongoing fight against COVID-19 in the country.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
He expressed optimism that the Mambilla power project, when completed, would provide electricity to some three million homes or over 10 million citizens in the country.
Shehu revealed that part of the funds had already been allocated, and would be used ”in full, for vital and decades-overdue infrastructure development:
”The second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kaduna-Kano expressways – creating tens of thousands of Nigerian construction jobs and local skills, which can then be useful in future projects.
”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.
”The receipt of these stolen monies – and the hundreds of millions more that have already been returned from the United Kingdom and Switzerland – are an opportunity for the development of our nation, made far harder for those decades the country was robbed of these funds.
”Indeed, previous monies returned last year from Switzerland – some 320 million dollars dollars – are 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.”
According to the presidential aide, the return of the stolen funds is a testament to the growing and deepening relationship between the government of Nigeria and the government of the United States.
He acknowledged that without the cooperation both from the UK Government, the US Executive branch and US Congress, Nigeria 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,” he maintained.
According to him, the Buhari administration is committed to, and is enacting – total and zero tolerance to corruption in politics and public administration.
”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,” he said. (NAN)
– May 5, 2020 @ 17:05 GMT |