Wednesday, 7th November 2019 – visiting World Bank Expert, Aaron Bornstein who is in Nigeria as a guest of the Africa Network for Environment & Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has said that the $322.5million returned Abacha loot returned to Nigeria by the Swiss government actually belongs to the Nigerian people.
Mr Bornstein stated this via Skype in an early morning discussion programme on TVC, a television station based in Lagos. In the interview, Mr. Bornstein said he was very satisfied with every effort that the present government of President Muhammadu Buhari was making to ensure that the returned monies were put in the hands of the poor people of Nigeria.
Mr. Bornstein, an anti-corruption consultant for the World Bank’s Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative and other organizations has worked with include the John Hopkins University’s “Philanthropication Thru Privatization” (P-t-P) program leading to the publication of two seminal works on stolen assets.
‘While working with a wide array of stakeholders and NGOs like ANEEJ, the Nigerian government has demonstrated political will with the issues related to the returned funds from Switzerland. Even though it is taking a bit of time for Nigeria to recover all Nigerian monies looted and stashed abroad by politically exposed persons, I am happy that the government is putting everything in place to ensure that the assets are used for the benefit of the Nigerian people’, Mr. Bornstein said.
For the process to be transparent and accountable, Mr. Bornstein said that government needs to do more to let Nigerians know how the monies are being disbursed. According to Mr. Bornstein, asset recovery stories coming from Nigeria are good stories. ‘To that extent, the government may want to do some more broadcasts of real situations where verifications of the Abacha loot is being made’, Bornstein said.
See below TVC Interview with Aron Bornstein