The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Maryam Uwais says that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has been spending recovered looted funds by the late former head of state, General Sani Abacha, on lifting poor Nigerians out of poverty.
Uwais stated this while speaking at an event organized by the human-environmental development agenda in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday, October 21, 2019.
According to her, between August/September 2018 and September/October payment 2019, the total cumulative amount disbursed from the Abacha loot is $76,538,530 and $27,099,028 from the International Development Association (IDA) credit. Uwais said:
“The funds are specifically being disbursed to beneficiaries of the national cash transfer programme (a component of the National Social Investment Programme N-SIP).
“The gesture is positively changing the fortunes of many Nigerians who find themselves below the poverty line, based on the data collated in the communities and hosted on the national social register.”
According to her, the decision to distribute the Abacha loot and IDA funds to poor and vulnerable citizens was reached by the Swiss government, the World Bank and the federal government.
She added that this was meant to ensure that the funds were well utilised and not diverted to private pockets, as was the case in the past.
“In December 2014, a Swiss judge gave a forfeiture order to the effect that monies (322.5 million dollars) recovered from the family of the late General Abacha would be returned to Nigeria.
“One of the conditions being that, the World Bank would be involved in monitoring disbursements there from,” she said adding that the needs of the people should be taken into consideration in the efforts to tackle poverty in the country.
This is coming barely 24 hours after Uwais claimed that Buhari’s government has been paying N5,000 monthly to poor Nigerians through the National Cash Transfer initiative.
She revealed that 620,947 poor and vulnerable Nigerians have benefited from the scheme.