What Abacha’s N80 billion loot could do for Nigeria


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Late Gen Sani Abacha: the newly recovered £211million loot could reduce poverty in Nigeria
Another $267m of Nigerian fund looted by General Sani Abacha has been recovered in Jersey, according to a news story from Britain that went viral on Tuesday.
An estimated $2.5billion was stolen by the thieving General during his almost five year reign.
According to reports, the money was seized from a Jersey bank account and already paid into Jersey’s Civil Asset Recovery Fund.
A shell company called Doraville held the funds, which were frozen in 2014.
After a five-year legal wrangle, the money has now been recovered and will be split between Jersey, the United States and Nigeria.
Last year when Swiss authorities returned $300m (£228m) of another Abacha loot to the Nigerian government, it was agreed that the money should go to 300,000 Nigerian households over the next six years. The Nigerian Social Investment Programme is executing the closely monitored agreement.
The newly seized £211 million Abacha loot could also do a lot to ameliorate the poverty among Nigerians and help build some much needed infrastructure, against the backdrop of government spending more than its income and debt service ratio ballooning.
For instance, If Nigerian government has N80billion sitting pretty in the treasury, there will be no need for the Debt Management Office to plan to raise N80b bonds mid-June.
The Debt Management Office (DMO) said that it plans to raise bonds worth N80.22 billion in three categories on June 17, which would mature in February 2020, March 2024 and July 2034 respectively.
In a ‘Bond Circular’ issued last Wednesday, the categories of bonds will include a 20, 10 and five-year bonds.
The DMO said that the 20-year bond would attract N40 billion, N15.22 billion for 10-year bond and N25 billion worth for the five-year bond
PM NEWS also found that N80 billion is the cost of 12 federal roads across the six geo-political zones as announced by former works minister Raji Fashola in 2017, after an approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Among the roads captured by the expenditure was the Engineering and Consultancy design for access roads 1 and 2 ‎to link Asaba in Delta State and Onitsha in Anambra State to the Second Niger Bridge project.
Fashola said the other road projects approved across the states included the Numan, Jalingo roads connecting Adamawa and Taraba states and the replacement of bridges at Mayanchi along Gusau-Sokoto road in Zamfara states.
Other roads approved for reconstruction by the council, he said, were in Bauchi, Plateau, Osun, Kwara, Oyo, Enugu, Kaduna and Kano.
N80 billion could also help in funding Nigeria’s state-owned universities. In 2016, 27 states that have universities spent just N106b on 35 of them.
In September 2018 the Federal Government as part of moves to ameliorate the conditions in Federal universities, released just N20 billion to all of them.
N80 billion could pay the salaries of 185,000 civil servants in Kano for eight months. The salary bill, according to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje stands at about N9.6 billion monthly.
Kano was Abacha’s home state and a stadium was named in his memory, despite looting Nigeria’s treasury, during his almost five years as military head of state between 17 November 1993 and 8 June 1998.

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