Abacha loot: CSJ trains journalists, CSOs, others on monitoring disbursement

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A civil society organisation (CSO)Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), in collaboration with African Network for Environmental  and Economic Justice  (ANEEJ), has trained journalists, non governmental organisations (NGOs), CSOs, and other Nigerians on monitoring the disbursement of Abacha  $322m loot across the country.
The one day training workshop held Tuesday in Abuja had in attendance representatives of different NGOs, CSOs and government agencies, including Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), National Social Investment Office (NSIO), among others.

Addressing participants at the event, the programme manager of CSJ, Mr Victor Emejuiwe, who represented the Lead Director, Barrister Eze Onyekpere, said that the objective of the workshop is to sensitise Nigerians, especially media practitioners on federal government’s programmes and policies in fighting corruption, as well as to instill positive behavioural change amongst citizens.
He said: “Centre for Social Justice, in partnership with African Network for Environmental and Economic Justice  (ANEEJ) is implementing a DFID project on the monitoring of the disbursement of Abacha’s $322m loot across Nigeria. CSOs and journalists are expected to monitor the disbursement of the funds across different parts of the country. In fact, while monitoring the disbursement last year, we encountered many baffling corrupt practices that tends to undermine the efforts of the federal government.

“Imagine some cooks collecting money from government to provide meals in the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, but end up supplying have measures to pupils. It is not as if government is not making effort in fighting against corruption of different types, but many factors are simply militating against these concerted efforts of government. More worrisome is the lack of clear policy framework for the management of looted assets recovered from corrupt politicians.”

Also speaking, the national project coordinator of NSIO House Uplifting Programme, Dr Temitope Sinkaiye, said that government is working round the clock to make sure that millions of the poorest of Nigerians are lifted from extreme poverty, hence the different programmes initiated by government and being funded with part of the recovered loots.

“The poverty situation in Nigeria is very high. The National Cash Transfer Programme is one of the programmes addressing the poorest of the poor. It is being funded partly with loans from World Bank, budgetary allocations and the recovered Abacha loot,” she said.

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