The United States government has said the recently returned looted funds will be used by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority for three infrastructure projects in strategic economic zones across Nigeria, as authorized by the Federal Government.
On May 1, the United States Government transferred a total sum of $311,797,876 to the Federal Government in accordance with a February 3, 2020 trilateral agreement among the governments of the United States, Nigeria and the Bailiwick of Jersey to repatriate assets the United States forfeited that were traceable to a former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and his co-conspirators.
The funds returned are distinct and separate from an additional $167 million in stolen assets also forfeited in the United Kingdom and France, as well as $152 million still in active litigation in the United Kingdom.
In a statement by the US embassy in Nigeria, the country said the recovered funds will help finance the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja-Kano road.
“These investments will support Nigeria’s economic development and benefit all of the Nigerian people.
“The agreement includes mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of these projects as well as external oversight,” it said.
The statement further said the transfer of funds serves as an important first step in the implementation of the agreement.
It noted that United States was looking forward to continue to work with the Nigeria government and its civil society partners to combat corruption and to ensure a successful outcome in the return of the funds.
“Nigeria’s continued vigilance, transparency, and accountability will ensure continued progress in the implementation.
“The fight against corruption is an investment in the future of Nigeria,” the statement added.