As part of its drive to implement the extended 2022 national budget, the federal government has presented two cheques of N130 billion raised from Sovereign Sukuk, a project-tied debt instrument to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) for the development of road infrastructure.

From the new releases, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing got N110 billion, while Federal Capital Territory administration was given N20 billion of the Sukuk funds.

The 2022 Sovereign Sukuk of N130 billion will be released as part of the capital expenditure in the 2022 appropriation Act, which has been extended by the National Assembly to March 31, 2023. As at November 2022, N1.88 trillion had been released as Capital Expenditure, which represents about 40% performance when compared to the total Capital Budget of N4.7 trillion.

Minister of finance, budget and national planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed did the formal presentation of dummy Sovereign Sukuk cheques to the Ministers of Works and House, Babatunde Fashola and that of FCTA Muhammed Bello today.

In her opening remarks, director-general of the Debt Management Office (DMO) said the present administration has invested the sum of N612.557 billion raised through Sovereign Sukuk between 2017 and 2021 for the construction and rehabilitation of key economic road projects in the six geo-political zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The DG DMO said the amount has been used to construct and rehabilitate sections of 71 road projects covering 2,808.06 kilometers and 4 bridges by the ministry of works and housing and sections of six road projects covering 99 kilometers and 19 bridges by the FCTA.

Oniha said through the Sovereign Sukuk initiative, the DMO has demonstrated its strong alignment with the policy of President Muhammadu Buhari on infrastructural development.

In his remarks, Mr Fashola said the federal government is creating massive jobs in the construction sector by building roads and bridges. He said the new releases will help to also significantly address Nigeria’s poor roads network.

He said a vote for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming general election will mean a continuation of infrastructure development in the country.

The finance minister said the Sukuk instrument has also helped to deepen the capital market, created benchmarks for other borrowers and promoted financial inclusion by providing a retail product.