By The Punch
The Federal Government has released the proceeds of the N100bn sukuk bond for the financing of 25 road projects being handled by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing across the country.
Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, handed over the N100bn proceed cheque to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, in Abuja on Thursday.
The Federal Government had issued the sovereign sukuk of N100bn in September. The bond which was successfully completed last week has a tenor of seven years.
Adeosun said the oversubscription of the bond to the tune of N105.87bn was a sign of confidence in the Nigerian economy and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister said, “This is the first sukuk bond issuance for Nigeria. It is about financial inclusion and deepening of our financial markets.
“The proceeds will be used to support government capital spending for 2017 – the construction and rehabilitation of 25 key economic roads across the six geo-political zones of the country.
“The roads will ease commuting, spur economic activities across the country and further close our infrastructural gap.”
Each of the geopolitical zones of the country is expected to receive the sum of N16.67bn for road projects in the respective zones.
The North Central and South-South Zones accounted for five each of the 25 key economic road projects, while the North East, North West and South East have four road projects each.
Three projects are to receive funding from the Sovereign Sukuk proceeds in the South West Zone.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Fashola commended the Finance Minister, the Director-General of Debt Management Office, Ms. Patience Oniha and the financial advisers for the bond issuance for their painstaking efforts in realising the milestone.
He assured the ministry’s contractors that the Federal Government was committed to the funding of its infrastructural projects across the country.
The representative of the contractors, Mousa Nahkia, expressed the contractors’ gratitude to Buhari, Adeosun and Fashola for making the money a reality.