On Friday, France announced its decision to return $150 million of the looted funds from General Sani Abacha, All Nigeria Latest News reports.
Since the demise of Abacha, who served as Nigeria’s military leader from 1993 to 1998, the nation has successfully retrieved substantial sums of money that were illicitly stashed overseas.
During her visit to Abuja, Catherine Colonna, the France Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, revealed that she had informed President Bola Tinubu about the forthcoming return of the seized fund.
She 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.
Colonna 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.”