The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said that General Sani Abacha’s recovered assets will support and assist in expediting the construction of the three major infrastructure projects across Nigeria, including Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Kano Expressway and the second Niger bridge.
Malami said this while signing an Asset Recovery Agreement to repatriate over US$308 million of forfeited assets looted by the late former head of state to Nigeria with the government of Jersey, Nigeria, and the United States of America.
In a press statement published on the US Embassy and Consulate website, on Tuesday, Malami was quoted to have said: “As you are aware, the government of Nigeria has committed that, these projects currently being executed under the supervision of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority as a public-private partnership (PPP) will boost economic growth and help alleviate poverty by connecting people and supply chains from the East to the West and to the Northern part of Nigeria, a vast area covering several kilometers with millions of the country’s population set to benefit from the road infrastructures.”
He also noted that Nigeria and other African countries are recognizing that crime does not pay and that it is important for the international community to seek for ways to support sustainable development through the recovery and repatriation of stolen assets.
Malami further acknowledged that “without the commitment of the three parties to the Agreement (Nigeria, Jersey and the United States) and that of the legal experts and Attorneys representing Nigeria, it would have been impossible to achieve the success recorded today.”
He noted that in the implementation of expeditious cooperation measures already set out in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and in the implementation of the GFAR principles on the repatriation of stolen assets, greater cooperation and mutual respect amongst countries will aid such processes.
Malami also called for the involvement of civil organizations and the public in the monitoring of the implementation of the key infrastructure projects that will greatly enhance road transportation in the country.