The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said that the money recovered from the late military ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha, is not being shared to the poor and vulnerable as widely believed.
Rather, he said, the money is being deployed in the financing of Federal Government’s social investment programmes comprising four components
He described as “mischievous” the insinuations that the government would share to the poor the Abacha loot repatriated by the Swiss Government.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mohammed said this on Monday when he paid an official visit to the Abuja office of The Authority newspaper.
“When the first tranche of Abacha loot was paid under former President Goodluck Jonathan, the Swiss Government found out that the money was re-looted by those in the administration.
“So, when they wanted to release the next tranche, they put the condition that it must be used for the most vulnerable Nigerians.
“We said there is no problem. It is the money we are using to finance our social investment programmes comprising four components,” the minister said.
Mohammed further said that 8.5 million pupils in government schools across the country are currently being fed under the Home Grown Feeding Programme.
Similarly, he said, over 400,000 families are being paid stipends of N5,000 every month under the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme.
“The beauty of this programme is that it is being done in collaboration with the World Bank.
“It is the World Bank and various agencies that determine the beneficiaries and who are the most vulnerable Nigerians,’’
Mohammed said that part of the money was being used to finance the employment of young graduates through the N-POWER programme.
He said that no fewer than 200,000 people had been employed in the first batch and another 200,000 would be resuming very soon.
“The fourth is the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme whereby market women, craft people etc., are given loan between N50,000 and N100,000
“So, when we say this money is being used for the poor people, it is not as if we are sharing it to poor people in the states,’’ he said.
Mohammed said the Buhari administration would remain accountable and committed to the welfare of the common people.