He revealed that his country is collaborating with the federal government to trace and repatriate looted funds stashed in foreign lands.
With many non-governmental organisations and representatives of international agencies in attendance at a Swiss Embassy organised Forum on Asset Recovery, he explained the issues surrounding the Abacha 2 asset recovery between the two countries.
Although the envoy declined to reveal details of the funds that would likely be repatriated back to Nigeria, he explained that the ongoing efforts are geared towards getting a positive result in line with the Mutual Legal Persistence Request agreement signed between the two countries.
Mayoraz said the Swiss government insisted on the involvement of the World Bank in the management of the $322.5m to ensure that money was spent to alleviate the sufferings of the poor. This is because of the lack of transparency in the government handling the fund.
“Unfortunately, some of the assets that were returned, there was not so much transparency in it. So, we have to introduce the World Bank to get involved in this so that this particular one can be used by the Nigerian government with the monitoring of the World Bank”, he said.
Mrs. Juliet Ibebaku-Nwagwu, the Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reform, stated that President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government was doing all it can to gain the confidence of the Swiss government and other investors and assure that the fund will be deployed to service the Social Investment Scheme which is also an existing World Bank project.
“Let me just say this, we just want our money back. By this administration’s commitment to open government partnership, we want the people to be involved in the monitoring of the stolen assets that were returned. We also came up with the open budget process so that Nigerians would know every budget details and they can be checked online too.”
Executive Director of African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, Mr. David Ugolor, said there was a need to monitor the deployment of all recovered assets to “ensure that they are properly used for what they are meant for in Nigeria.”