The Presidency says it acted in error by adding the Mambilla project among those to benefit from the $311m loot by late former Head of State, General Sani Abacha, which was recently returned to Nigeria from the United States and the Bailiwick of Jersey.
Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, had in a statement last week announced that the project along with second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Expressway, and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway would be the beneficiaries.
But in another statement on Wednesday, Shehu said he regretted the erroneous addition of the project to the list as it was not part of the projects to be financed under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority.
The recently repatriated Sani Abacha loot will go towards three of the Federal Government’s five priority projects, excluding the Mambilla power and East-West Road projects.
He said, “In an earlier statement, I had mistakenly noted that the Mambilla was one of five priority projects to benefit from the $311m Abacha loot under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority. That error is regretted.
“Although the Mambilla and East-West expressway are regarded under the PIDF as priority projects, I have ascertained that they are exempt from the agreement signed between the Nigerian, United States and British territory of Jersey governments.
“According to the document, only the second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Expressway, and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will benefit from the repatriated funds. The funds are domiciled in the NSIA.”