Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami has disclosed that $311,797,866.11 being part of the ‘Abacha Loot’ has just been received from the United States of America and Bailiwick of Jersey.
This comes as a huge relief for the finances of the Federal Government of Nigeria especially in the infrastructure development commitment of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, as a lot of funds were already being put into emergency policies and measures to cushion the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
The sum will be directed into the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), and be invested in the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF). PIDF, was established by President Buhari in May 2018, “to eliminate the risks of project funding, cost variation and completion that have plagued the development of the nation’s critical infrastructure assets.” (As spelt on the website for NSIA, NSIA(dot)com(dot)ng).
Among the critical projects funded through PIDF are the Construction of the Second Niger Bridge; the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; and the rehabilitation of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway.
According to the NSIA, by August 2019 PIDF’s Infrastructure funding (disbursements) had passed the $300m mark. This latest receipt will ensure that works on the various projects are not slowed down due to lax in funding regardless of the current pandemic.
Recall that on 17th May, 2018, almost two years ago, the first cache of fund to the tune of $650 million was tranferred to the NSIA from the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) dividend account, being PIDF’s seed funding. Coincidentally, the Bill establishing the NSIA was signed into law by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, on the 27th of May, 2011; nearly 9 years ago.