Dachung Musa Bagos, a lawmaker representing Jos south/Jos east at the house of representatives, says the recovered $23 million Abacha loot should be channeled to settle the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The lawmaker was speaking in a chat with Channels TV on Wednesday. The federal government and the US on Tuesday reached an agreement to repatriate a new batch of funds looted by Sani Abacha, the former Nigerian head of state.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said the recovered booty, tagged ‘Abacha-5’, was earmarked for the completion of the Abuja-Kano road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge.
Reacting to the development, Bagos said the federal government is not carrying the national assembly with the disbursement of returned loot.
“This is my third year in the national assembly, we have never discussed any of the recovered loot. We just sit down and we hear that the executive got back loot and allocated the same to projects they so desire,” the lawmaker said.
“We believe that when we discuss these issues at the national assembly, [and] we appropriate those funds according to the needs of Nigeria, it will go a long way; not just the executive looking at it and assigning it to what they feel it should be. The constitution gave us that right.
“We have urgent needs. As now, ASUU has stopped and the government is trying to solve those issues.
“As a representative of the people, if I have to argue where those funds should be channeled, I will say, ‘why can’t you channel part of this fund to ASUU so that most of the youths who are at home, wouldn’t go back to school.
“But some of the areas we feel the executive is channeling those funds are not the immediate needs of Nigerians.”
ASUU has been on strike since February 14, with funding, welfare and revival of Nigerian universities among the major issues for the industrial action.
The strike entered its seventh month with no end in sight after several breakdowns in negotiations between the union and the government.