The French Government on Friday revealed its intention to return another $150 million stolen by former Head of State, General Sani Abacha.
The late General Sani Abacha ruled Nigeria from November 17, 1993 to June 8, 1998.
The French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, made this known when she visited President Bola Tinubu on Friday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Tinubu, who expressed his appreciation for the move to return the $150 million stolen from Nigeria by Abacha, also acknowledged the signing of a €100 million agreement between Nigeria and France to support the i-DICE programme, a Federal Government initiative to promote investment in Information and Communications Technology and Creative Arts Industries.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Technology, and the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, at an earlier event at Tafawa Balewa House, the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
President Tinubu commended the strengthening of bilateral relations between Nigeria and France, noting that this progress followed his visit to Paris after his inauguration.
He told Colonna: “Thank you for the good news on the return of Abacha loot.
“We appreciate your effective cooperation concerning the return of Nigeria’s money.
“It will be judiciously applied in attaining our development objectives.”
The President, while emphasising the need to reinforce collaboration on both political and economic fronts, welcomed the growing cooperation between the two countries in areas of shared interests such as climate change, economic integration, education and culture.
The French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs conveyed the goodwill of President Emmanuel Macron and expressed the readiness of France to expand mutually beneficial collaboration with Nigeria across multiple sectors.
She proceeded to extend a formal invitation to President Tinubu to attend the forthcoming Paris Peace Forum.
Speaking on the Abacha loot, the French Presidential Envoy said the repatriation followed the completion of legal processes.
She said” It was a long process, but we are glad that it was concluded.
“Sometimes, justice may be slow, but this is a very good achievement.”