Benin city, Nigeria. September 19, 2019…The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has applauded the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Office of the National Social Investment Programme, NSIO, for bold steps at stamping out sharp practices in the disbursement of the $322.5million Abacha loot currently being disbursed to Nigerians under the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme.

The Rev David Ugolor, ANEEJ executive director making a statement to journalists said that ANEEJ noted with satisfaction every effort the EFCC has invested in ensuring that laid down rules and regulations concerning cash disbursements to qualified persons are met.

‘As the organization monitoring the transparent and accountable utilization of the returned Abacha loot under our flagship project MANTRA, we take very seriously the important role which the EFCC and the NSIO have played in recent times to support our modest efforts. We recall a recent statement by the EFCC, affirming its resolve to pursue and prosecute those bent on scuttling the disbursements’, the Rev Ugolor said.

“We are glad that the Grievance Redress Mechanism put in place by the Federal Government is currently receiving the acid test of citizens and it is hoped that as relevant institutions such as the EFCC play their roles, It is a firm resolve that corruption associated with returned assets will be stamped out from our country as MANTRA partners nationwide are positioned to play our  oversight roles in the disbursement of returned assets. This is to also send a strong message to all those seeking to pilfer returned loot to close shops.” Ugolor said.

Worldwide, conditional cash transfers, CCT, are programmes that provide cash to poor people who meet certain parameters often used to ascertain poverty. Currently, there are about 30 countries worldwide using the CCT to reduce poverty, with varying levels of assistance from the World Bank. In the Nigerian case, the distribution of the returned Abacha loot to the poorest of the poor in Nigeria comes under a tripartite schedule with the World Bank, the DfID and Civil Society groups as stakeholders.

‘’A similar key role in ensuring accountable and transparent distribution of the $322.5million of the Abacha loot is with the time and effort that the NSIO office has invested in framing concepts of operations which highlight ‘impact of the broader areas of the National Social Investment Programmes – on the livelihoods of  poor Nigerians’ ’’ the Rev Ugolor said in his statement to the media.

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