The money looted by Nigeria’s former military dictator Sani Abacha is to be distributed to poor families, the Nigerian government has said.
The government is expected to commence disbursement of the recovered $322 million Abacha loot through Conditional Cash Transfers, CCT, to 302,000 poor households in 19 states.
The distribution which starts next month is a deviation from the original plan by the government to use the recovered loot to address health and education problems.
The money, stolen by late Abacha in the 1990s, is due to be given through monthly payments of around N5,000 ($14) each.
Some Nigerians have questioned whether this is the best way of distributing the money and there are also concerns that with elections just months away, the gifting of money could be seen as an effort to secure votes.
In April, the Nigerian government had announced plans to use the recovered Abacha loot to fund the Social Investment Scheme.
Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun had said the investment will help address the health and education challenges affecting the poor and vulnerable.
The Minister confirmed the recovery of the sum of US$322,515,931.83 Abacha funds from the Swiss Government into a special account in the CBN.
The funds, according to her, have been earmarked for the National Social Safety Nets programme of the Government.
“The objective of the National Social Safety Nets Project for Nigeria is to provide access to targeted transfers to poor and vulnerable households under an expanded national social safety nets system,” Adeosun stated.