France Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna in Abuja on Friday disclosed that the nation would return one hundred and fifty million dollars stolen from Nigeria by former Head of State, General Sani Abacha.
Colonna noted that the stolen fund will be returned to the country in form of grant and discussions would soon be opened with the Nigerian government on the areas to invest the fund.
She said, “I also informed President Tinubu that in response to the request submitted by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice, and in agreement with the US Administration, France will return to Nigeria the assets stolen from the Nigerian people by General Sani Abacha and his family, that have been frozen in France since 2021.
“We will start discussions with the Nigerian administration in order to allocate these 150 million US dollars to development projects benefiting the population, according to the priorities of the Nigerian government.”
President Bola Tinubu, in his reaction, expressed his appreciation and commended the strengthening of bilateral relations between Nigeria and France, noting that this progress followed his visit to Paris after his inauguration.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale in which the President also acknowledged the signing of a one hundred million euros agreement between Nigeria and France to support the i-DICE programme, a Federal Government initiative to promote investment in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Creative Arts Industries.