The Federal Government of Nigeria, the Swiss Federal Council and the World Bank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the repatriation and monitoring of $321 million of funds illicitly acquired by the family of the late former President of Nigeria, General Sani Abacha.
The MOU was signed during the Global Forum on Asset Recovery, a three-day forum hosted by the United Kingdom and the United States with support from the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative.
The MOU captures the tripartite agreement on the World Bank’s monitoring role and the proposed modalities of the funds repatriation and disbursement, following a December 2014 Swiss court order that the funds be repatriated.
The responsibility for the use of the funds is with the Federal Government of Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities requested the funds be used to support a program of targeted cash transfers to poor and vulnerable Nigerians under the National Social Safety Net Project financed by a credit extended by the International Development Association.
The parties have agreed to establish monitoring framework for the use of the repatriated funds that will enhance transparency and accountability. To that end, the Federal Government of Nigeria will engage civil society organizations to help monitor the use of the funds.