France to return $150m Abacha loot
By Matthew Atungwu
France announced on Friday that it would repatriate General Sani Abacha’s loot worth $150 million
Following the demise of Abacha, the military leader of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998, the nation has been able to retrieve hundreds of millions of cash that were stashed overseas.
President Bola Tinubu has been told of the expected return of the confiscated monies, according to Catherine Colonna, the visiting French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, who made this announcement in Abuja.
Colonna announced that the embezzled funds would be brought back to the nation in the form of grants and that negotiations with the Nigerian government over the fund’s potential investment areas would shortly begin.
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.”
The Minister noted that France has invested over €10 billion in Nigeria in the last ten years while over 100 French Companies 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.”