- The group says federal government needs to invest the money rather than share to households
- SERAP said sharing N5,000 to households will have no tangible benefits on them compared to investments
- SERAP also charged President Buhari to, in line with a recent court order, release details of how loots recovered have been spent since 1999
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has faulted plans by the federal government to share the $322.52million loot recovered from former head of state General Sani Abacha among some 300,000 households.
SERAP said in a statement signed by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale and released on Sunday, July 1 that such spending was 'mis-targeted' because it would not yield tangible benefits.
“The authorities have a legal obligation under the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party to make sure that the returned Abacha loot is properly and efficiently used, both from the viewpoint of using asset recovery as a tool of ensuring justice to victims of corruption and breaking the cycle of grand corruption.
“But the plan to share the loot among households is mere tokenism and would neither have a significant impact on poverty alleviation nor satisfy the twin objectives of justice and development,” SERAP said.
Channels TV reports that the group instead advised the government to invest it in tangible projects that would benefit the poor.
“Rather than spending the loot to fund the National Social Safety Net Program (NAASP), President Buhari should, within the framework of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), create a central recovery account/trust funds, with oversight mechanisms to ensure repatriated funds are transparently and accountably spent to invest in tangible projects that would improve access of those living in poverty to essential public services such as water, education and health.
“Distributing N5,000 to households would neither improve the socio-economic conditions of beneficiaries nor achieve the enduring value of a more transparent and robust system to manage recovered loot.”
NAIJ.com had reported that the federal government was finalising preparations to disburse $322million funds repatriated from the accounts of late Abacha in Switzerland to Nigerians.
The national coordinator of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), Nigeria and special assistant to the President on justice reforms, Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu disclosed it in an interactive session with newsmen.
Ibekeaku-Nwagwu said under MoU with Switzerland, the funds would be paid directly into the accounts of the poorest Nigerians through their various accounts for two years and identification numbers to be made available on the website being developed by the National Social Investment office and the World Bank.
Abacha Loot: The Federal Government To Share $322M To Nigerians - on NAIJ.com TV