The French government has made the decision to return a staggering $150 million that was looted by General Sani Abacha, the former military head of state in Nigeria.
The announcement was made by Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement on Friday.
President Bola Tinubu expressed his appreciation to France for this decision during a meeting with Catherine Colonna, the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France.
Tinubu also took the opportunity to highlight the strengthening of bilateral relations between Nigeria and France.
“Thank you for the good news on the return of Abacha loot. We appreciate your effective cooperation concerning the return of Nigeria’s money. It will be judiciously applied in attaining our development objectives,” Tinubu said.
The President welcomed the growing cooperation between the two countries in areas of shared interest, such as climate change, economic integration, education, and culture.
Tinubu also acknowledged the signing of a €100 million agreement between Nigeria and France to support the i-DICE programme which is a Federal Government initiative to promote investment in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Creative Arts Industries.
The agreement was signed by the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Technology, Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani, and the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs at an earlier event at Tafawa Balewa House, the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Speaking on the Abacha loot, the French Presidential Envoy said the repatriation followed the completion of legal processes.
“It was a long process, but we are glad that it was concluded. Sometimes, justice may be slow, but this is a very good achievement,” she said.