Switzerland has confirmed that 321 million US dollars “stolen” by former head of state Sani Abacha and hidden in Swiss banks will be returned to Nigeria very soon.
The information was released Friday by Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria Eric Mayoraz while signing an agreement on criminal matters between Nigeria and Switzerland.
He also confirmed that 722 million dollars was effectively repatriated in 2005.
According to the Swiss Ambassador, the signing of the agreement will help in eliminating bottlenecks linked to the repatriation.
Nigeria’s minister of Foreign Affairs, rejoiced that the agreement will help in blocking funds linked to money laundering.Transparency International estimates that close to $5 billion was stolen during Sani Abacha’s rule.
Since he took office in May 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to eliminate corruption even as he battles with an economic crisis triggered by low oil prices.
He has also requested the help of western powers in the repatriation of stolen funds.
According to estimates from the African Union Commission, Africa loses about $50 billion every year due to illicit financial flows.
A report by the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial flows in Africa says Africa has lost close to $1 trillion dollars on illicit financial flows over the past 50 years.