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Thursday, June 13, 2024

We’ll repatriate $150m Abacha loot, French minister tells Tinubu

France on Friday said it would be returning $150 million General Sani Abacha loot.

Since the death of Abacha who was Nigeria’s military leader between 1993 and 1998, the country has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars hidden abroad.

The visiting France Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, who disclosed this in Abuja, said she has informed President Bola Tinubu about the planned return of the seized fund.

Colonna noted that the stolen fund will be returned to the country in form of grant and discussions would soon be opened with the Nigerian government on the areas to invest the fund.

She said, “I also informed President Tinubu that in response to the request submitted by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice, and in agreement with the US Administration, France will return to Nigeria the assets stolen from the Nigerian people by General Sani Abacha and his family, that have been frozen in France since 2021.

“We will start discussions with the Nigerian administration in order to allocate these 150 million US dollars to development projects benefiting the population, according to the priorities of the Nigerian government.”

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The Minister noted that France has invested over €10 billion in Nigeria in the last 10 years, while over 100 French Companies are doing business in the country, creating over 10,000 jobs.

She said, “Over the last ten years and now exceed 10 billion euros. More than 100 French companies are already working here. They do not simply sell French products, they invest in Nigeria’s economy, creating jobs (10 000 jobs as we speak), factories, farms and vocational training centers.

“Our goal for the coming years is to further increase these investments in Nigeria, but also the investments of Nigerian companies in France.

“The French Government also invests directly in Nigeria, through financing from the French Development Agency (AFD, Agence française de développement).

“Since 2010, we have mobilized close to 3 billion euros to support the emergence of Nigeria. AFD is carrying out projects in 26 out of the 36 states of Nigeria.”

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