Re-looting Abacha’s Loot

Re-looting Abacha's Loot

I read online a story about how the Federal Government has ‘disbursed’ over $103M to the poor. The money was reported to be part of the recovered loot of former Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha.

The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Maryam Uwais was reported to have made the claim, saying the Federal Government has been channelling the recovered loot and International Development Association/World Bank credit towards programmes and policies designed to address the plight of the poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

The news, assuming what she said is true, would have been good news. Alas, it’s corruption disguised as aids to the non-existant poor. Don’t get me wrong; there are poor people in Nigeria. I just don’t think anything was given to anyone.

Delivering an address on Monday at a training on illicit funds, Mrs Uwais was reported to have said from the August 2018 to the October payment cycle, the total amount disbursed from the Abacha loot was $76,538,530 and $27,099,028 from the IDA credit.

Mrs Uwais said the funds were specifically being disbursed to beneficiaries of the National Cash Transfer Programme, a component of the National Social Investment Programme, noting that the gesture was positively changing the fortune of many Nigerians. What could be farther from the truth!

She said the decision to distribute the Abacha loot and the IDA funds to poor and vulnerable Nigerians, who were sourced from a National Social Register collated by the National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office, was reached by the Swiss government, the World Bank and the Federal Government.

To add the Swiss government and World Bank (for credibility sake) to a carefully orchestrated move to defraud Nigerians is to show the level of desperation to cover up the government’s track. Who are the poor and vulnerable Nigerians? How were they selected?

It’s no more news that lists compelled by successive governments in Nigeria are usually filled with ‘loyal’ party members from the grassroot up to the Presidency. These people may not represent the truly poor. Accountability by government to the citizens is past giving figures in speeches; the right questions must be asked to ascertain the truth or otherwise of such claims.

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has always led the citizens to believe it is interested in their welfare and can reach them with financial aid. TraderMoni, formerly supervised by the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is a quick pointer. How has TraderMoni helped the common man out of poverty?

This is Nigeria where a sachet of pure water is sold for #10. Save cheap ‘sweets’ and chewing gums, there’s hardly a thing you can get below #10. It’s counter-productive to think a loan of about #10000 would help lift a man from poverty; it can’t even get him by in a week.

Stop defrauding us. Stop engaging in acts that stain your names and cast aspersions on you. How long do you think you can keep up with unrelatable milestones? Who’s deceiving who?

We demand a thorough breakdown of the supposed investments on the poor. How they were sourced must me throughly looked through also. We can’t keep running a government who delivers only in speeches with no traceable act to back them up.

God bless Nigeria.

Aroso Akintomide
Twitter: @tomidearoso