Three Ministries, Departments and Agencies have received proceeds of the N250bn Sukuk Bond for capital project execution.
They are the Ministry of Works and Housing, Federal Capital Territory and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who released the fund on Thursday in Abuja, said the N250bn was part of the capital expenditure in the 2021 appropriation.
The symbolic cheque presentation was witnessed by the Minister of Works and Housing, Tunde Fashola; Minister of FCT Mallam Mohammed Bello; and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
A breakdown of the proceeds showed that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing received N210.565bn; Federal Capital Territory Administration N29bn; and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs N10.435bn
The Finance Minister said that the government will continue to raise the needed fund and prioritize spending for critical infrastructure in the country.
She said, “The government will continue to prioritize spending on critical infrastructure in order to sustain the momentum on GDP growth.
“As you may be aware, the GDP is projected to grow by 4.20 per cent in 2022. This can only be possible through steady increase in spending on critical infrastructure, such as roads.”
Also speaking at the event, Fashola recalled that the recession that Nigeria experienced in 2016 necessitated the issuance of Sukuk Bond.
He said, “Recall in 2016 thereabout, there was recession. The Economic Management Team was tasked to mobilize capital for infrastructure partly to ease cost of doing business, transportation of goods and people.
“One of the funding sources adopted was Sukuk. As soon as announced, hell was let loosed. They claim its adoption was to Islamize Nigeria. The first sukuk, N100bn was applied equitably to each zone. In the fullness of time, people began to see its usefulness.”
Earlier in an opening remark, Director – General, Debt Management Office (DMO). Ms. Patience Oniha said deploying Sukuk proceeds to funding infrastructure projects is in line with one of the strategic objectives of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which is the development of infrastructure.
“Improvement in infrastructure due to its multiplier effects, is widely accepted as one of the best means of creating jobs, supporting and attracting new business and promoting overall growth and development,”the DMO DG said.