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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 December 2006, 01:08 GMT
Nigeria 'using Abacha cash well'
Safe door
Mr Abacha is thought to have embezzled billions of dollars
Nigeria is using funds it regained from the former military ruler, Sani Abacha, to boost health, education and transport, the World Bank has said.

A Swiss court returned $458m (257m) of stolen funds to Nigeria last year, on condition it was spent on development and monitored by the World Bank.

Now, a World Bank review has found that half the projects begun with the looted cash have been successfully completed.

Nigeria is lacking in infrastructure, despite its abundant oil wealth.

The World Bank review said the monitored projects were being implemented across the country, and most of those not yet finished were heading for completion.

Frozen funds

A World Bank statement said the stolen funds were "utilised for development projects in five sectors".

It said the study showed significant increases in spending in 2004 in areas such as power, roads, water, education and health.

Mr Abacha was in power from 1993 to 1998 and is thought to have embezzled billions of dollars.

Following his death in 1998, Nigeria started trying to claw back money that had been deposited outside the country.

In 1999, Swiss authorities originally froze funds linked to Mr Abacha found in its banks.

However, they refused to return them until they were given guarantees about how the money would be used.

Nigeria regains more Abacha cash
27 Sep 05 |  Business
Swiss banks returning Abacha cash
09 Sep 05 |  Business
Nigeria to receive Abacha funds
16 Feb 05 |  Africa
Nigeria recovers 'stolen' money
27 Nov 03 |  Business

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