To bolster bilateral relations, France has pledged to return $150 million of the late Gen. Sani Abacha’s frozen assets to Nigeria. The commitment, announced in Abuja, is a response to a request from the Nigerian Ministry of Justice. France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ms. Catherine Colonna, stated that the returned funds would be allocated to development projects benefiting the Nigerian population according to the government’s priorities. She emphasised the strengthened partnership between the two nations over the past year, with a focus on economic ties and mutual investments.
“I had the great honour of being received by President Bola Tinubu. Our discussion focused on the state of our bilateral partnership as well as on major regional and global crises. More broadly, I acknowledged the irreplaceable role of Nigeria in global governance,” Colonna noted.
France considers Nigeria, the leading economy in Africa, as its primary trading partner in Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the last decade, French foreign direct investments in Nigeria have doubled, exceeding 10 billion euros. Additionally, more than 100 French companies are active in Nigeria, contributing to job creation and vocational training.
“Our goal in the coming years is to further increase these investments in Nigeria and also the investments of Nigerian companies in France. The French government also invests directly in Nigeria through financing from the French Development Agency,” Colonna affirmed.
During her one-day visit to Abuja, the discussions also encompassed Franco-Nigerian collaboration in the cultural and creative industries, further solidifying the partnership between the two nations.