Works and Housing Ministry pockets ₦162.6bn Sukuk cheque
BY COBHAM NSA, ABUJA – In keeping with President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise while signing into law the revised 2020 Appropriation Act, the Federal Government says the sum of ₦995.665 billion has already been released to finance capital expenditure in this year’s budget.
This is as the government disclosed that intervention from Sukuk special funding has largely enhanced road infrastructure across the six geo-political zones of the country.
According to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, the government appropriated the sum of ₦1.347 trillion for capital expenditure under the revised 2020 budget and total capital releases to date stands at ₦995.665 billion, including the Sukuk funding.
Speaking while presenting a cheque of the ₦162.667 billion realized from the 2020 Sukuk issuance to the Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola in Abuja on Monday, Mrs Ahmed said the development fully complies with the presidential order that 50 per cent of the amount for capital projects be released before July ending for effective implementation of the 2020 revised budget.
“Mr President directed the release of 50 percent of this amount during the signing of the revised budget before the end of July 2020”, she said, adding; “The total capital releases to date is ₦995.665 billion, including Sukuk.”
The Finance Minister further explained that given the latest release of ₦162.557 billion to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, government has fully discharged the total amount appropriated for roads projects funded by Sukuk in 2020 budget.
Mrs Ahmed also confirmed that government is satisfied and greatly encouraged by the huge successes achieved in the area of improved “road infrastructure across the six geo-political zones with the intervention of this special funding (Sukuk).”
In her remarks at the occasion, Director General of Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms. Patience Oniha said successfully completing the Third Sovereign Sukuk issued by DMO, on behalf of the federal government last month, represents a milestone achievement for the current administration.
The DMO boss explained that with the success recorded in issuing the third Sukuk, the federal government has raised the sum of ₦362.577 billion, “for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads projects across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.”
An elated Oniha said DMO has been encouraged that an oversubscription by 446.08 percent or ₦669.12 billion was recorded on the sum of ₦150 billion placed on offer by the Federal Government.
The Minister for Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), in his intervention while receiving the Sukuk cheque noted that diligent application of the raised funds clearly portrays “transparency in the utilization of Sukuk proceeds.”
The former Lagos State governor assured that the trust reposed in the offer by Sukuk investors will “not be misapplied in the 44 roads projects to benefit from the ₦162.557 billion” nationwide.
He also pledged that accountability to the Nigerian people through open and transparent processes will always drive service delivery in the nation’s works and housing sectors