Swiss Ambassador~We have returned the N80b Abacha stole to Nigeria’s government

Posted: August 5, 2012 in General

The outgoing Switzerland Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Andreas Baum today said that his country has returned over (500 million pounds) about N80 billion looted by the late Military President; Gen. Sani Abacha from the country’s treasury.

Baum, who this disclosed this to reporters in Abuja also said that his country had put some measures in place to safeguard its financial system from the transfer of stolen wealth.

He said that Switzerland’s financial system had improved since the controversy surrounding the loot of the late Nigerian ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha.

Besides, the Swiss Ambassador, who assumed duty in 2008 in Nigeria, also revealed that there is one ongoing looting case that involved the son of the late Military President.

According to him, “It is an area we have put a lot of work in. We realised that there was a problem; the measures we have taken will prevent the transfer of stolen wealth to our country.

“The Nigerian case is very important to us because the Abacha case helped us to improve our laws.

“We have put in place measures to ensure that the Swiss financial system is not abused with the transfer of such assets.

“We have returned around 500 million dollars (about N80 billion) of the Abacha loot to Nigeria. That was done during the time of my predecessor.  But there is one ongoing looting case involving the son of late Abacha’’.

The envoy, who described bilateral relations between Switzerland and Nigeria as excellent, nonetheless, bemoaned the low volume of their trade, which currently stood at 500 million dollars.

Baum attributed the low level of bilateral trade between the two countries to “informal and unaccounted trade’’.

He noted, “This is because a lot of Swiss products, mainly oil and pharmaceuticals, come into Nigeria via other countries.

“Some Swiss products come into Nigeria through the Netherlands; so it is sometimes difficult to have an accurate account of the trade volume.’’

Baum, however, stressed that plans were underway to improve on the bilateral trade, citing the visit of a trade delegation from Switzerland to Nigeria in 2010 as part of the trade improvement strategies.

 

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