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Dissent over President Buhari’s Anticipated Sharing of $322 Million “Abacha Loot”

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The decision by the Buhari-led administration to share the recently repatriated $322 loot by late General Sani Abacha to poor households in Nigeria has been met with reservations by many.


Although the country welcomed the last tranche of the loot that was lodged in Switzerland banks since the demise of the military dictator in 1998, the President’s decision to use the said sum to fund its Social Investment Programme provided in the 2018 budget has been questioned as an ineffective way of tackling poverty among the people.

For example, there have been suggestions that the money should be used to give grants to small business owners in real sector (sector of the economy that produces goods and services), revive a major manufacturing industry or fund a national infrastructural project to create jobs in the economy or serve as a public utility. Others have criticised the government for signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Swiss government on what it planned to do with the said funds prior to the repatriation- as it leaves the Nigerian public helpless and with little power to suggest better interventions. There are also suspicions that the Federal Government intends to use the social intervention programme as a guise of channelling funds to campaign for the 2019 general elections with doubts of government’s unclear qualification of “poor households” without a template or database.


Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of the National Cash Transfer project, Dr. Temitope Sinkaiye has confirmed that dispensing of the monies through a conditional cash transfer is already ongoing as 300,000 poor households in 18 States (Niger, Kogi, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Cross River, Bauchi, Jigawa, Gombe, Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Anambra) are already in receipt of the monies from the said loot[6].