CEM REPORT, FINANCE | France has returned the sum of $150 million stolen from Nigeria by former Head of State, General Sani Abacha. This is as Nigeria signed a €100 million agreement with France to support the i-DICE program.
According to a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and publicity, the returned funds will be employed to achieve the development objectives of the administration.
He mentioned that the news was delivered by the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Catherine Colonna on Friday on a visit to Nigeria.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in an appreciative comment emphasized the need to reinforce collaboration on both political and economic fronts between both countries.
“Thank you for the good news on the return of Abacha loot. We appreciate your effective cooperation concerning the return of Nigeria’s money. It will be judiciously applied in attaining our development objectives.”
He further welcomed the growing cooperation between the two countries in areas of shared interest, such as climate change, economic integration, education, and culture.
Speaking on the Abacha loot, the French Presidential Envoy said the repatriation followed the completion of legal processes.
“It was a long process, but we are glad that it was concluded. Sometimes, justice may be slow, but this is a very good achievement,” she said.
Also, a €100 million agreement was signed between Nigeria and France to support the i-DICE programme.
The i-DICE programme is a Federal Government initiative to promote investment in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Creative Arts Industries.
According to the statement, the agreement was signed by 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.
The French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs conveyed the goodwill of President Emmanuel Macron and expressed the readiness of France to expand mutually beneficial collaboration with Nigeria across multiple sectors.
She proceeded to extend a formal invitation to President Bola Tinubu to attend the forthcoming Paris Peace Forum.