Nigeria Won’t Need To Borrow, If Abacha Loot Is Returned – ICPC

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission ICPC has reportedly stated that Nigeria won’t need external loans if stolen monies kept in foreign banks by corrupt politicians and heads of state are returned.

This was reportedly disclosed by ICPC Spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, on Monday in Abuja while speaking on the occasion of the 2021 African Union Anti-Corruption Day marked every July 11.

According to reports, over $5 billion was allegedly stolen by the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, between 1993 and 1998, and only A minimal fraction of the stolen funds have been returned to Nigeria.

In response to this,  the ICPC spokesperson has stated that Nigeria and other African countries won’t need to borrow loans outside the continent if all the looted funds were returned.

Ogugua stated that, “When we have a celebration like this, we are trying to showcase what we have done so far, over the years, and where we are going.”

She added that, “This year, there is a lot of focus on illicit financial flows because if these funds are repatriated back to the country, they will really help in development. The countries are suffering from lack of funds, looking for loans all over the place whilst if these funds are repatriated, we will use them to develop our countries.”

She made it known that, “When we want to bring back the money, the host countries give very stringent conditions as if they are also taxing you again. Money that was looted from you, they will give you stringent conditions for spending it, and monitor the expenditure.”

She disclosed that, “A case in point is the Abacha loot, the World Bank gave a very stringent condition but the crux of the matter is that it is our funds.”

Ogugua also stressed that, “In CAPA, we also give them some conditions – if you are keeping money that belongs to our country in your own country, when you are returning, like say $1bn stolen from Nigeria, you should not return $1bn to us; it has stayed with you for 10 years, you should put it in an escrow account so that it will yield interest. When you are returning it, you should return it in the real current value but they don’t do that. So, they are giving us conditions which we are abiding by but we need to give them some conditions, that is why there is need for a common African policy.”

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Esther Ifeoluwa

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