After the return of the $322.5 million stashed in Switzerland by the late former Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, there have been heightened interest amongst Nigerians on how it will be utilised and tThe questions raised around the issue include the choice of using the money for the conditional cash transfer programme of the Federal Government, the choice of states benefitting from the programme, the usefulness of a monthly transfer of N5, 000 to poor Nigerians and concerns about the re-looting of the funds.
Well, the Vice President Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo has finally cleared the air on how the beneficiaries of the direct cash transfer from the $322m recovered Abacha loot would be paid. The clarification was made on Wednesday at the launching of the Monitoring of Recovered Assets through Transparency and Accountability project which is part of the ‘Roundtable of the African Union Champion on Anti-Corruption’ to commemorate 1st African Day of Anti-Corruption. He explained that the Federal Government will commence disbursement of the recovered 322 million dollars Abacha loot through Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) to 302,000 poor households in 19 states before the end of the year. The states include: Niger, Kogi, Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, Kwara, Cross River, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarrawa, Anambra and Internally Displaced Persons Camps (IDPs) in Borno.
The VP, represented by Special Adviser to the President on Social Protection, Maryam Uwaid also explained how the registration was the challenge faced, that banks no longer are supportive with biometrics so they are looking into making use of agents, ensuring that the cash transfer programme would be monitored to ensure transparency of the process.
The event was co-organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, and the African Union, with the theme, “Enhancing Domestic Resources for Sustainable Development Goals by Improved Asset Recovery and Asset Return.”