By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ and Lead organization of the Monitoring Transparency and Accountability Returned Assets (MANTRA), Tuesday, expressed satisfaction with Federal Government’s transparency in bid opening for third party monitors to monitor disbursement and utilization of $311 million Abacha III loot to execute three legacy projects.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Executive Director, ANEEJ, Rev David Ogulor, which he said the bid process showed transparency of the process and meets the global standard of bid opening as seen in other parts of the world.
The bidding process was organized by the Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, in Abuja.
The MANTRA project is being supported by DFID Nigeria under the ACORN programme.
The statement reads in part, “From the publication of the call for bids for prospective Civil Society Organisations to apply for the third-party monitoring of the returned $311.79 Abacha III up till the public opening of the bids, we have carefully followed the process and we commend the Head of Assets Recovery Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Ladidi Mohammed and her team as well as the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) for ensuring that the process was open and transparent.”
Meanwhile, the statement disclosed that ANEEJ has commenced the independent monitoring of the utilization of the returned $311.79 Abacha loot.
“We are currently developing our Monitoring tools and will be training our MANTRA team to be deployed soon to the field for our independent monitoring of the same returned loot.
“In the days and weeks to come, we hope to reach out to all key stakeholders connected with the implementation of the three projects as part of our scoping for the task ahead”, the statement added.
According to the ANEEJ, it was successful in end-to-end monitoring of the returned $322.5 million Abacha II loot and also prevented its looting.
It added that based on previous success recorded in monitoring disbursement and utilization of Abacha loot disbursement it is already working hard to put all mechanisms in place to achieve some success in the returned $311.79 million Abacha III loot.
“With the successful end-to-end monitoring of the returned $322.5 million Abacha 11, we have been able to prevent its looting and we are happy to deploy our skills and resources to ensure that we achieve the same feat with the returned $311.79 million Abacha III loot. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the returned loot goes to the three Legacy projects the Federal Government has earmarked the money for”, it assured.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government recently confirmed the receipt of repatriated $311.79 million Abacha III Loot from the United States of America and the Bailiwick of Jersey.
In the agreement signed between Nigeria and the two nations, the money will be spent on the Lagos-Ibadan Express Way, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Expressway and the third Niger Bridge.
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