A delegation of the World Bank, led by its Country Director for Africa, Rachid Benmessaoud, has visited Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja. Although details have not come out yet, it is believed one of the items discussed will be the administration of $322 million recovered Abacha loot.
The meeting was confirmed by the Nigerian Government via its Twitter account:
Today, Vice President @ProfOsinbajo received a delegation from @WorldBank led by the Country Director @WorldBankAfrica, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, at the State House in Abuja.#AsoVillaToday pic.twitter.com/rvH0UeE1hq— Government of Nigeria (@AsoRock) July 11, 2019
In February 2019, Today’s Echo carried a exclusive report about how Moroccan-born Rachid Benmessaoud of the World Bank is supervising the administration of $322 million recovered Abacha loot. This makes it impossible for the Nigerian government to make use of the money without his consent.
In July 2018, Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo described how the recovered fund would be redistributed to poor Nigerians under the Federal Government’s Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme.
Today’s Echo understands that Benmessaoud had given the go ahead for $33 million to be issued to Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance in October 2018.
According to the World Bank, Rachid Benmessaoud joined the Bank in 1990 as an Energy Planner in the then Europe, Middle East and North Africa Vice Presidency. Since then, he has held various positions in the Bank, with his most recent assignment as Country Director for Pakistan in the South Asia Region.