Monday, October 21, 2019 6:45 pm
Mrs Maryam Uwais, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments said this on Monday in at a public function in Port Harcourt, Rivers.
Uwais, in a statement by Communication Manager, National Social Investment Office, Tienabeso Bibiye, was speaking at a two-day Experts’ Training and Advocacy on Tracing and Recovery of Illicit Funds and Assets in Port Harcourt.
The event was organised by the Human Environmental Development Agenda in Port Harcourt, Rivers.
“From the August/September 2018 to the September/October payment 2019 cycle, the total cumulative value so far disbursed from the Abacha Loot is 76,538,530 dollars, and 27,099,028 dollars from the International Development Association (IDA) credit.
“The funds are specifically being disbursed to beneficiaries of the National Cash Transfer Programme (a component of the National Social Investment Programme N-SIP).
“The gesture is positively changing the fortunes of many Nigerians who find themselves below the poverty line, based on the data collated in the communities and hosted on the National Social Register.
“The decision to distribute the Abacha Loot and IDA funds to poor and vulnerable citizens was reached by the Swiss Government, the World Bank and the Federal Government.
“This was to ensure that the funds are well utilised and not diverted to private pockets, as was the case in the past.
“In December 2014, a Swiss Judge gave a Forfeiture Order to the effect that monies (322.5million dollars) recovered from the family of the late General Abacha would be returned to Nigeria.
“One of the conditions being that, the World Bank would be involved in monitoring disbursements there from,” she said.
She said efforts to tackle poverty in Nigeria should also take into consideration the basic and peculiar needs of the people.
Uwais also said that there was need for the people to be carried along in the formulation and implementation of poverty alleviation policies and programmes for greater impact and appreciation of such efforts.
She listed the key achievements of the Cash Transfer Programme funded, with the Abacha loot and IDA loan facility, to include enrolment and payment of 620, 947 beneficiaries across 29 States,
“N567, 429,471, 30 saved by beneficiaries in 17 states from their monthly N5,000 stipends and 3,695 trained to support beneficiaries.”