The President Bola Tinubu-led Nigerian Government on Friday said France will return $150 million looted by former Nigerian military leader, late General Sani Abacha.
The visiting France Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, who disclosed this in Abuja, said she had informed President Tinubu about the planned return of the seized fund.
Colonna noted that the stolen funds would be returned to the country in the form of grants, and discussions would soon be opened with the Nigerian government on where to invest the funds.
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 to development projects benefiting the population, according to the priorities of the Nigerian government.”
President Tinubu, on Friday in Abuja, expressed his appreciation to France for the return of $150 million stolen from Nigeria by the former Head of State.
In addition to the recovery of another tranche of Abacha loot, the President acknowledged the signing of a €100 million agreement between Nigeria and France to support the i-DICE programme — a Federal Government initiative to promote investment in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Creative Arts Industries.
The agreement was signed by Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Technology, and the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, at an earlier event at Tafawa Balewa House, the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.