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Fed Govt to appoint CSO to monitor recovered $311.79m Abacha loot

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

The Federal Government  on Thursday began the process of appointing a civil society’s representative into a committee that will monitor the disbursement of the $311,797,866 (late Head of State) Gen. Sani Abacha loot recently repatriated from the United States and the Bailiwick of Jersey.

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The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, while announcing the receipt of the money earlier this month, had said the Federal Government undertook to engage a civil society organisation (CSO) with combined expertise in substantial infrastructure projects, civil engineering, anti-corruption compliance, anti-human trafficking compliance, and procurement,  to provide additional monitoring and oversight.

This, he said, would ensure transparent management of the returned funds.

Malami added that the Federal Government had committed the recovered funds to supporting the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Abuja-Kano road and the Second Niger Bridge.

Read Also: Galadima: Why Abacha stashed billions of dollars

The minister said the CSO to be so engaged, will be part of  a project monitoring team to oversee the implementation of the projects and report regularly on progress made to the public.

Procurement and law experts drawn from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMJ) on Thursday opened the bids submitted by 16 CSOs.

Head of Asset Recovery and Management Unit in the ministry, Mrs. Ladidi Bala Mohammed, announced the closure of bids’ submission at noon yesterday, following which the bids were opened in the presence of audience at the ministry’s hall, where the event was held.

Mrs. Bala Mohammed said the decision to open the bids in public was to emphasise government’s commitment to transparency in the process.

The head of a five-man team from the BPP, Nasir Bello, said his team would evaluate the bids.

He said after working on the submitted bids, the second stage will also be made public.

Organisations that submitted bids included: Triump Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited, International Action Centre, GPM Associates, Phenai Penal Consults Limited/Africa in Foundation Infrastructure, Cleen Foundation, Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative, Public and Private Development Centre and Arewa Community and Social Development Network In Nigeria.

Others are: Quadrante, IBLF Global, PPP Advisories Consortium, Restitution Impact Limited, Urban Project Prospects Integrate Services Limited, Centre for Social Justice, Foundation for Public Private Partnerships (Nigeria) and Global Society for Anti-Corruption.

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