A group, the Advocacy for Integrity and Economic Development, AIED, has stated that plans by the Federal Government to disburse the repatriated $322,000,000 Abacha loot from Switzerland to poor and vulnerable Nigerians in 19 states was prone to corruption, wondering if, “the new and ambiguous disbursement tactics by the Buhari government is not an early avenue to distribute campaign funds.”
The National Coordinator of the Open Government Partnership,OGP, Nigeria and Special Assistant to President Buhari on Justice Reforms, Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu, had stated that under an MoU Nigeria signed with Switzerland, the money would be paid directly into the accounts of the poorest Nigerians through their various accounts for two years.
Placing the conservative Naira equivalent of the returned loot at a whooping 115, 920, 000, 000 (one hundred and fifteen billion, nine hundred and twenty million naira), the group held that the huge fund can best be channelled into providing basic social amenities and development projects that will be of direct benefits to Nigerians in the rural communities and be more enduring than spending the sum on a one-off payment exercise.
In a statement signed by its Media and Publicity Director, Comrade O’Seun John, AIED stressed that the proposed disbursement exercise is deceitful and in practical terms looks more like an avenue to reloot the repatriated fund using a complex web of syndicated pyramid.
“The composition and compilation of the National Social Register (NSR) intended to be used for the exercise is questionable, as this register was not provided by the National Population Commission but built through inputs from State Government officials, most of whom have over time been involved in ghost-worker scheme in the civil and public service. The NSR does not in anyway represent the statistics of the much evangelized vulnerable Nigerians but rather the desire of those relied upon to provide the data.
“A look at the plan of the Federal Government shows a planned disbursement of 5,000 (five thousand naira) to 302,000 households categorized as poor and vulnerable. A quick calculation of this gives 1,510,000,000 (one billion, five hundred and ten million naira) which is less than one percent of the actual repatriated fund. The big question then is: what happens to the remaining 114, 410, 000, 000 (one hundred and fourteen billion, four hundred and ten million naira) ?