African Countries are one of the poorest in the whole world. The unemployment rate is alarming which explains the why terrorism is on the rise. People becomes an easy target for terrorism recruitment when there is abject poverty. You can imagine Boko Haram terrorist paying as low as 20,000 Naira to suicide bombers .This can only happen in an economy that is in shambles.
Gen Sani Abacha who was a military dictator looted so much money, that are still been recovered 23 years after his mysterious death. Funds in billions of dollars hidden in different countries like Switzerland, USA, United Kingdom and so on.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) of the United Kingdom Just announced the recovery of about $23.5 million in looted funds from the allies and family of a former Nigerian dictator, the late Sani Abacha.
Abacha ruled Africa’s most populous nation and top oil exporter from 1993 until his death in 1998, a period during which he stole up to $5 billion of public money, according to Transparency International. He was never charged.
It keeps getting worse because the looted funds been recovered are been sent back to corrupt leaders who would still loot it back foreign countries, it’s like a cycle. Its in Nigeria Former political office holders who has been convicted for embezzlement are granted presidential pardon.
A preliminary investigation published by the police in November 1998 found that more than $1.5bn (£1.1bn) was stolen by Abacha and his associates.
One of the methods used for accumulating such a colossal sum was particularly brazen.
Abacha would tell an adviser to make a request to him for money for a vague security issue.
He then signed off the request which the adviser would then take to the central bank, which would hand out the money, often in cash.
The adviser would then take most of that money to Abacha’s house.
Some was even taken in dollar notes “by the truckload”, Mr Monfrini wrote.
This was just one way Abacha and his associates stole huge amounts of money. Other methods ranged from awarding state contracts to friends at highly inflated prices and then pocketing the difference and demanding foreign companies pay huge kickbacks to operate in the country.
Further delays came as Swiss politicians argued over whether the money would just be stolen again if it was returned. Other countries were slower to return the cash.
By 2018, the amount Switzerland had returned to Nigeria had reached more than $1bn.
“Liechtenstein, for instance, was a catastrophe. It was a nightmare.”
In June 2014, Liechtenstein did eventually send Nigeria $277m.
Six years later, in May 2020, $308m held in accounts based in the Channel Island of Jersey was also returned to Nigeria. This only came after the Nigerian authorities agreed that the money would be used, specifically, to help finance the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan expressway and the Abuja-Kano road.
Some countries are yet to return the loot.
Mr Monfrini is still expecting $30m he says is sitting in the UK to be returned, along with $144m in France and a further $18m in Jersey.
In total, he says his work secured the restitution of just more than $2.4bn.
You can now imagine how many billions of dollars that have been stolen since independence by different corrupt civilian and military Government in Nigeria.
It is Safe to say that our leaders from the day of independence have failed the country and have stolen the future of Nigerian generations.
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By Azeez Owolabi