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The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced that it has begun the disbursement of $76.5m of the recovered Abacha loot to the poor and less privileged Nigerians.

This was made known by the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Maryam Uwais, who added that the International Development Association /World Bank credit was also being channeled toward poor Nigerians.

She revealed this while giving a speech at the training on illicit funds and noted that through the period of August 2018 to October, the amount disbursed from the Abacha loot was $76,538,530 and $27,099,028 from the IDA credit.

Uwais, who said the funds, which were specifically being disbursed to beneficiaries of the National Cash Transfer Programme, a component of the National Social Investment Programme, noted that the gesture was positively changing the fortune of many Nigerians.

She said that the poor Nigerians and less privileged, who were the beneficiaries, were determined by a perusal of the National Social Register, which was collated by the National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office.

The decision to share the recovered loot was reached by the Swiss government, the World Bank and the Federal Government.

This, she said, would help to ensure that the funds were well utilised and not diverted to private pockets, as was the case in the past.

“In December 2014, a Swiss judge gave a forfeiture order to the effect that the money ($322.5m) recovered from the family of late General Abacha would be returned to Nigeria, one of the conditions being that the World Bank would be involved in monitoring disbursements there from.

“Presumably, this was as a consequence to the opaqueness that surrounded the application of recovered funds,” Uwais said.

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