See What Government Wants To Do With $322.5m Abacha Loot
Two decades after former military leader, Sani Abacha died, Nigeria's funds looted by the late dictator are still flowing in like a spring that never dries.
There is $322.5 million of that loot cooling in the Central Bank's coffers for the Nigerian government, and the government wants to let Nigerians enjoy that loot.
But there is a category of persons that will benefit from it.
This is according to the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, who addressed reporters with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, at the end of the 2018 International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring meeting held in Washington.
Reeling out some of the achievements of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister said the administration had succeeded in building macroeconomic resilience for Nigeria, particularly revising funding mix, rebuilding fiscal buffers, enhancing foreign exchange reserves and focusing on import substitution strategies.
"We will continue to efficiently and effectively manage public sector costs and plug leakages, and make sure that every money that is earned comes in and delivers full value to the Nigerian people.
"We are refinancing our inherited debt portfolio from short-term Treasury Bills to longer tenured debt, which has resulted in huge savings and reduction in costs of funds for the government. We will continue along this path," she said.
Before she highlighted how the Abacha loot would be spent, Mrs Adeosun told reporters that President Buhari's administration had raised Nigeria’s taxpayer base from 13 million in 2015 to 17 million currently.
"The sum of $322,515,931.83 Abacha funds recovered from the Swiss Government and deposited into a special account in the Central Bank of Nigeria has been earmarked for the National Social Safety Nets programme of the government," she stated.
If you want to benefit from this fund, you can find where you belong in the plan.
Some targets of this programme are creation of 500,000 teaching assistance for qualified teachers for a period of 12 to 24 months for a start and the training of 100,000 artisans and the provision of soft loans for them to commence business activities.
The programme also accommodates the conditional cash transfer which is intended to pay the sum of 5,000 Naira to one million of the most vulnerable Nigerians.
Others are micro-credit scheme for more than 1.5 million Nigerians and 50,000 Naira education support grant for 100,000 students in tertiary institutions who are undergoing courses in Science Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Education.
The National Home Grown School Feeding Scheme targeted at students of government schools in different states is also part of the National Social Safety Nets.
At the briefing, Mr Emefiele also said that Nigeria’s foreign reserves have now risen to $47.93 billion.
Both government officials further stated that Nigeria’s positive growth outlook will be sustained.
"We have come a long way from 2015 and 2016. Inflation rate is slowing; foreign reserves are rising and by 2019, Nigeria’s growth will be far more robust than the present level," she added.