General Sani Abacha, a former military head of state, is claimed to have looted $311 million, which the government claims was paid directly to contractors for work done on behalf of the government.
Ajuri Ngelale, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Public Affairs, made this statement during a Twitter-hosted virtual town hall meeting. He claimed that the direct payment was made in order to stop the National Assembly and Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) from diverting the funds.
The federal government had collected $311,797,866.11 as part of the former military dictator’s looted fund back in May. The sum, which was returned from the United States and the Bailiwick of Jersey, was intended to hasten the reconstruction of the Second Niger Bridge, the Abuja-Kano road, and the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
“So you have three major projects under the PIDF that we have been able to fund directly to the contractor through the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
And Nigerians have seen the truth of that, we don’t have to boast about it or talk about it because they can see it. Whether it’s a Second Niger Bridge, whether it’s the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway or whether it’s the Abuja-Kano, they know the work that is going on, it’s not in dispute.
And because of the structure of the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund conceived by President Muhammadu Buhari, nobody, no middleman can put his finger on a kobo of that money on $1 of that money.
And, of course, we’ve been able to further galvanize other funding inputs from, of course, the Abacha loot, signing deals with the with the US government and the Jersey authorities to ensure that $311 million was put back into those three projects, with each project taking about $103 million or 33.3 per cent of the total Abacha loot that was sent back.
So, that’s another one where we’ve been able to mobilize private and public financing to be able to directly get this money into the hands of contractors straight without National Assembly diversion, without MDAs diversion, and all of that.” he said