By Martin Paul in Abuja
The Federal Government has released N100 billion under the Sovereign SUKUK programme for 28 road projects across the country.
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Thursday in Abuja performed the symbolic handing over of the dummy cheque to Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.
She recalled that the Federal Government issued the subscription in December 2018 and a wide range of investors subscribed to it.
The minister disclosed that Pension Fund Administrators contributed N40,692,000,000, while Deposit Money Banks put in N17,500,000,000 just as Retail Investors contributed N17,326,411,000.
Other contributions, she said, came from Fund Managers and Non-bank Financial Institutions, who put in N11,652,602,500, followed by non-interest Banks/Ethical Funds with N10,943,701,500 and other institutional Investors with N1,885,285,000, “making the total of N100 billion.”
“The SUKUK funding option is part of the initiatives of the government to diversify government funding sources, while also deepening the Nigerian capital market, mobilizing more savings and promoting financial inclusion”, the minister said.
She further stated that the fund would be released to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, based on the framework agreed with the Trustees in order to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of the proceeds.
The FG last December issued a seven-year N100 billion Sovereign Sukuk as part of the new domestic borrowing plan in the 2018 budget to finance road projects in the country.
Analysis of the distribution showed that six road projects would be undertaken in the North Central at the cost of N16. 7billion, while five roads would be contracted in the North East and North west with the same amount.
In the Southeast, four road projects would gulp N16.7billion similarly, six road projects in South South and three in south west would also be executed.
Responding before collecting the dummy cheque, Fashola listed the benefit of the Sukuk projects to include provision of employment, infrastructural development and nation building, among others.
“Sukuk fund is for the benefit of everybody. It drives the economy and we are building infrastructure that would last for the next 30 to 50 years” he said.
In her vote of thanks, the Director – General Debt Management Office, Ms Patience Oniha, urged a judicious use of the fund and the need to commence work during this dry season.