Nigeria refutes claims of $79m payment to Swiss government

Ugo Okoro

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has refuted claims by a newspaper, that the Federal Government has agreed to pay a $79m commission to the Swiss government as part of conditions for the repatriation of public funds stolen by former military leader, Sani Abacha.

The Minister clarified that the amount payable to Nigeria from Switzerland is $321 million, and is being returned to Nigeria for projects which are subject to verification by the World Bank.

She said the recovery process wss ongoing with the Swiss authorities and the World Bank has agreed to undertake the required verification.

She stated that there was no deduction of $79 million as suggested in the report which is both “misleading and inaccurate”. She assured that recovery would be made in full and that there was no commitment nor requirement to pay any commission.

“The Federal Government is committed to securing the return of all looted funds in their entirety and has never entered into any sharing arrangement as suggested in the report, ” she said.

The ministry says that intense efforts will continue to secure all the money due to Nigeria including an additional $400 million from Abacha, ” held up in US Courts on which the Attorney General of the Federation and the Ministry of Finance are engaging with their US counterparts to secure expeditiously.”