ABUJA – The Federal Government will receive 227 million dollars (about N37 billion) from the Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein being part of looted funds recovered from the Abacha family.
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a small country in Central Europe, bordered by Austria to the East of Switzerland. It is one of the oldest jurisdictions in offshore assets.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Mr Paul Nwabuikwu on Thursday in Abuja.
According to the project, President Goodluck Jonathan will constitute an inter-ministerial committee to ensure the proper utilisation of the funds.
“The committee will identify the best projects and programmes in which to invest the funds to be released in June, 25.
“The president has also directed that part of the funds be saved in the Future Generations Fund, one of the funds managed by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to help secure the economic future of both Nigerian youths and unborn Nigerians.
“In line with the agreement reached with the Principality of Liechtenstein, the World Bank will assist in monitoring the utilisation of the funds on specific projects.
“ The return of the funds is the culmination of robust 16-year efforts by the Federal Government of Nigeria to retrieve the funds.
“The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Muhammad Adokie with support of the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the National Security Adviser, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki led the efforts,” it added.
The statement explained that the return of the funds was delayed by the suit instituted at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) by companies owned by the Abachas.
“ As a result, the Principality of Liechtenstein could not proceed with the return of the funds.
“To demonstrate the commitment of the Federal Government to retrieving the funds, the Attorney-General of the Federation also filed a suit against Mr Mohammed Abacha before the Abuja High Court,’’ it stated.
It stated that the Abachas agreed to discontinue their suit before the ECHR as part of the negotiations to expedite the recovery of the funds.
“The Federal Government equally withdrew the case against the Abachas, paving the way for the release of the looted funds by Liechtenstein,’’ it added. (NAN)