The Muhammadu Buhari regime says money stolen by the late dictator, Sani Abacha should not be seen as looted funds because of its current impact on the lives of the poor.
The government noted that after 22 years, N58 billion, part of the repatriated Abacha loot, was delivered to two million poor Nigerians in the past two months.
This was disclosed by the National Coordinator, Household Uplifting Programme, Halima Shehu, who said the Nigerian government’s conditional cash transfer programme was being executed with the repatriated Abacha loot.
On Thursday, in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, Shehu said an additional 23,134 poor and vulnerable persons in Adamawa state were enrolled to benefit from the funds recovered from Abacha loot, through the conditional cash transfer programme.
She said, “It is a World Bank-funded programme, together with the government funding of the Abacha restituted funds.
“We don’t call it loot because they are making an impact after 22 years, with the poorest of the poor, and the most vulnerable groups in society.
“So far within the last two months, the Federal Government has delivered N58 billion into the settlement of N10,000 bimonthly stipends, to beneficiaries on our register.
“In the last two months, across the nation, the Federal Government of Nigeria has disbursed over N58 billion for Household Uplifting Programme,” she said.
However, many residents of Adamawa state have not been impressed with the conditional cash transfer programme, saying it is being nepotistically implemented.
Dumas Jonathan, a resident of Yola, said, “The conditional cash transfer targets either APC (All Progressives Congress) members or Hausa/Fulani people.”
Shehu, however, denied the allegation, saying, “It is devoid of political interference and bias.”
She assured that adherence to strict guidelines used in pre-qualifying and selecting the poor and vulnerable beneficiaries was the safeguard against political interference.