BY JOY YESUFU, Abuja
The Executive Director of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor has said the organization has been crisscrossing the length and breadth of the country and internationally with the aim of advocating for return of assets stashed in foreign jurisdiction, carrying out end to end monitoring of use of returned assets and advocating for reforms in the assets returned and management regime in the country.
He stated this in Abuja at a Learning Summit to mark the final close out ceremony of the MANTRA project under the funding of the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
ANEEJ in a bid to monitor the use of repatriated loot and advocate for the improvement of policy and legislative framework for asset recovery in Nigeria is currently implementing the Monitoring of Recovered Assets in Nigeria through Transparency and Accountability (MANTRA) project with support from UK Aid in collaboration with eight partners drawn from the six geo-political zones of the country
Ugolor further said ANEEJ has actively followed the implementation of the London Anti-Corruption Summit, Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) summit recommendations and the 2nd UNCAC review.
“Specifically, ANEEJ and its partners have worked collaboratively with Nigerian government to carry out end to end monitoring of the use of $322.5 million Abacha 11 returned from Switzerland and being spent for poor Nigerians enrolled under the Conditional cash Transfer of the Social Investment Programme, the $311.9 Abacha 111, returned from Jersey and the United States of America being spent on three infrastructural projects; the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano express road, Lagos-Ibadan dual carriage road and the second Niger bridge.
“We are also following developments on the €5.5 million being returned from Ireland also to be deployed to the three aforementioned infrastructural projects” the executive director noted.
He maintained that ANEEJ has successfully carried out five monitoring rounds across the country and have launched some of the reports which have informed further advocacy on how to improve the Social Investment Programme, particularly the Grievance Redress Mechanism.
In his address, the deputy programme manager, FCDO, Mr Valentine Udida said the fight against corruption in Nigeria is a critical part of their work in Nigeria in supporting good governance, promoting transparency and strengthening accountability in the country.
He said corruption has had negative effect on the life of the poor Nigerian adding that FCDO is pleased with the achievement recorded by ANEEJ through the MANTRA project.