|Ikom Bridge, Cross River State|
The federal government has released funds for the construction of Ikom Bridge, rehabilitation of Alesi-Ugep (Iyamoyong-Ugep) road in Cross River State and 42 other roads in Nigeria.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed presented a cheque of N162.557 billion, being proceeds of the third Sovereign Sukuk issued by the Debt Management Office (DMO) for 44 road projects across the country on Monday, July 20, 2020 to Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola in Abuja.
The minister said the federal government has so far released a total of N995.665 billion to finance capital projects in the 2020 Budget.
Presenting the cheque to the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, the minister said a total of N1.347,423,264,262 was appropriated for capital expenditure in the Revised 2020 Budget, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that 50 per cent of the budgeted amount should be released before the end of July.
Ahmed stated that total capital releases, including the N162.557 billion Sukuk proceeds now stands at N995.665 billion, stressing that the DMO had raised the sum of N162.557 billion from investors in June 2020.
She emphasised: “This amount is strictly dedicated to the financing of road projects in the Revised 2020 Appropriation Act. It also means that with the release of N162.557 billion to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, the amount appropriated for road projects financed by Sukuk in 2020 Budget has been fully released.”
The minister noted that the federal government had been greatly encouraged by the tremendous success recorded with regards to improvements in road infrastructure across the six geo-political zones with the intervention of the special funding.
Noting that besides the fact that the evidence of the use of the proceeds of Sukuk by way of works done are there for all to see, the comments and feedback received from commuters, transporters, other businesses, investors and other well-meaning Nigerians have been heart-warming.
According to her, the current administration is of the view that with the deployment of the Sukuk funds, coupled with the capital releases and various interventions by the government, the country will be on the path to economic development.
Earlier in her remarks, Director General of the DMO, Ms. Patience Oniha, said the cheque presentation was organised to celebrate the successful completion of the Sovereign Sukuk issued by her agency on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).
The South-west had six for rehabilitation while the South-east had five.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts said the Sukuk funds were project-tied to promote transparency and accountability.