Switzerland has given Nigeria conditions for the repatriation of the $321 million stolen fund in Swiss accounts.
Swiss Foreign Minister Mr Didier Burkhalter said a treaty on use of the fund must be spelt out before the money would be released.
Besides, the World Bank must be involved to monitor how the money would be spent.
Burkhalter, who spoke in Abuja after meeting his Nigerian counterpart, Mr. Geoferry Onyeama, said if both countries signed a treaty to support social projects in Nigeria, with the World Bankmonitoring, the money would be restituted.
The minister assured Nigeria that his country would write another chapter of the history of illicit asset recovery and restitutions from Swizerland to Nigeria
He said: “Ten years ago, we repatriated the Abacha loot of $700 million and now there is a possibility and the decision as in principle to restitute another $321 million.
“And for the Swiss government it is important to act swiftly, to act in a transparent way and act for the good of Nigeria.
“And the decision of the prosecutor of Geneva set a condition and this condition is a monitoring mechanism by the World Bank.
The envoy said the time to repatriate the fund “depends on the capacity of our finding the solution to the conditions that are set.
“I mean monitoring mechanism on the projects that have to be supported, then it can be very swift because the decision as in principle of restituting the $321 million has been taken,” he said
Onyeama announced that both countries have commenced the process to repatriate the $321 million.
The minister said there has to be an agreement on what the money would be used for.
“So we have to agree before hand as a pre-condition on what the money would be used for.
“And the World Bank would be part of the monitoring process to ensure that the money is used for the benefit of Nigerians,” he said.
He said the visit of the Swiss minister helped with the commencement of repatriation of the looted fund.
According to him Switzerland is helping in many areas, with the internally displaced persons in the North.
“They are making significant financial contribution there as well, and in trade.
“They are about to open a new consulate in Lagos and this would be a mechanism that helps trade; Swiss investment in Nigeria, which is what we are looking for.”
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