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FG opens bidding process for consultancy services to monitor implemention of Abacha loot 3

To give vent to federal government’s promise to properly utilise the loot recovered from the late Gen. Sani Abacha, the Federal Ministry of Justice on Thursday formally opened technical bids for consultants that will monitor the implementation of the “Abacha loot 111.”

The aim of the bid, according to the Ministry of Justice, is to select a Civil Society Organisation Monitoring Team to oversee the implementation of the projects that the recovered loot will used for and report regularly on progress made to the public.

The recovered funds were alleged to have been laundered through the US banking system and then held in bank accounts in the Bailiwick of Jersey by the late ex head of state.

Only recently, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said the federal government had received over $311.797m of the Abacha assets repatriated from the U.S. and the Bailiwick of Jersey.

According to Malami, the amount increased from over $308m mentioned in the press release issued in February to $311.797m following the accrued interest from Feb. 3 to April 28 when the fund was transferred to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“These recoveries are transparently and judiciously deployed in supporting indigent Nigerians as specified in the agreement signed with the Switzerland and the World Bank.

“In line with the 2020 Asset Return Agreement, the fund has been transferred to a Central Bank of Nigeria Asset Recovery designated account and would be paid to the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) within the next fourteen days.

“The NSIA is responsible for the management and execution of the projects to which the funds will be applied,’’ the minister had said

The consultants, according to Mrs Ladidi Mohammed, Head, Asset Recovery and Management Unit, Ministry of Justice, who declared the bidding process opened in Abuja Thursday, are to undertake the monitoring of the implementation of the tripartite agreement on the Sharing, Transfer, Disposition, Repatriation and Management of the Abacha 111 Forfeited Assets.

She noted that the process is in tandem with the Asset Return Agreement of Feb. 3 by the Nigeria government, U.S. and the Bailiwick of Jersey.

“This Agreement is based on international law and cooperation measures that set out the procedures for the repatriation, transfer, disposition and management of the assets.

“The government is committed to support and assist in expediting the construction of the three major infrastructure projects across Nigeria in the agreement.

“The projects are the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, Abuja – Kano Road, and the Second Niger Bridge,’’ she explained.

“This is to ensure transparent management of the returned assets’’.

According to her, the process for the engagement of the monitoring team started with adverts placed in two Nigeria newspapers –Daily Trust and the Punch of March 4 and a Notice of Extension on April 17, the Federal Tender Journal March 9 and 23, the Economist March 14.

The adverts were also on the website of the Federal Ministry of Justice –”

Nasiru Bello, a representative of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), while opening the bids, noted that 17 organisations submitted entries for the technical bid.

He added that the bids will be handed over to the Evaluation Committee to ensure that due processes are followed.

“The Due Process Mechanism is to establish and sustain an open transparent and competitive procurement system that is integrity driven,” he said.

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