By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja-The Federal Government has released the proceeds of the N100 billion Sukuk bond to finance 25 major road projects in the six geopolitical zones.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, who handed over the cheque for the N100 billion to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday in Abuja, said that the bond was oversubscribed to the tune of N105.87bn
Recall that the Federal Government had issued the sovereign sukuk of N100bn in September and the bond which was successfully completed last week has a time frame of seven years.
According to Adeosun; “This is the first sukuk from Nigeria and it is an important development in our financial market because it is about financial inclusion and deepening of our financial market by producing and introducing new products. We are able to get more people as savers and investors in the future of Nigeria.
“You will notice that the project cuts across the six geopolitical zones and so this money is going to economic growth and for the construction of very critical roads that will help to unlock the potential in our economy across the nation and so we are very proud of this milestone” she said.
Earlier, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola commended the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, the Director-General of Debt Management Office, Ms. Patience Oniha and the financial advisers for the bond issuance, as well as the investors in the sukuk for showing believe not only in the instrument but in the Nigerian economy.
He noted also that the milestone is a message of confidence that there is still a lot of promise in the economy, not only by full subscription but by zonal subscription.
Also, the Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Mrs Patience Oniha, praised the decision to issue the Sukuk bond, saying that it gave room for cooperation and partnership between Ministries, Departments and Parastatals which is a good example of how they can make things work for Nigeria.
She disclosed that; “The money is available and kept in a dedicated account so it goes into the project but beyond that, the government has sort of put things in check by making sure there is a trustee that ensures hat the funds are disbursed purely for the project and that we get the value that we want”
Speaking on behalf of the contractors, the Managing Director, Reynolds Construction Company(RCC) Engr. Moussa Nahkla, expressed the contractors’ gratitude to the federal government, saying that it is a great development.
The key economic growth in each of the zones were selected and the N100 billion is to be shared equally among the six geopolitical zones with each zone receiving N16.67 billion.
The North Central and South-South Zones have five each of the 25 key economic road projects, while the North East, North West and South East have four road projects each and the South West has three projects