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FG Releases N100bn Sukuk Fund For 28 Road Contracts Across 6 Zones.

Federal Government on Thursday announced a list of 28 road contracts that will benefit from the N100 billion Sukuk bond issued in December 2018 by Debt Management Office (DMO).

Each of the six geopolitical zones will each benefit N16.7 billion to fund identified sections of critically important road projects.

Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed presented a dummy of the N100 billion cheque to Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola at a ceremony held inside the auditorium of Federal Ministry of Finance in Abuja.

Speaking in an opening remark, Ahmed recalled that offer was oversubscribed to the tune of N132.2 billion or 132.2%.

'The offer was opened to the general public and subscriptions were received from a wide range of investors: retail investors, pension fund administrators, deposit money banks, fund managers and non-bank financial institutions and other institutional investors.'

She explained the significant increase in the level of participation by retail investors from about four per cent in the debut issuance in 2017 to 17.33 per cent in 2018 means that the objectives of financial inclusion and deepening of the investor base of FGN Securities are gradually being achieved.

A total of 1876 retail investors participated in the December 2018 Sukuk Issuance.

The Sukuk funding option she continued, is part of the initiatives of the government to diversify government funding sources, while also deepening the Nigerian capital market, mobilising more savings and promoting financial inclusion.

Responding, Fashola described the impact of sukuk as one of the important things in terms of nation building, job creation, growth and employment.

'I want to say again that there is no nation that I know of that has gone unto greatness without building. from 1929, the new deal in America from 1940's the marshal plan in Europe, in our own very generation. The massive construction in Asia particularly China and the middle east.

So Nigeria is going through something similar but perhaps in very challenging times. We missed this opportunity when we had multi-dollar income, $100 per barrel of oil and we did not invest it on infrastructure.

'This administration is committed to follow the part of greatness, build the foundation for tomorrow by investing in infrastructure but what does that do?

'It means that for example we have to raise money and I am very happy to learn that over 1,876 investors are already doing business because Buhari government decides to build.

'That is how to build an economy; roads are coming, those are assets that would enable business that would enable transport, movement of goods and services and assets that will last 25, 30 to 40 years.

'This is a good investment to make.

'As soon as I collect this cheque, i am going to give it to the contractors but even they can't keep it, they have to give it to their suppliers because they need aggregates, they need materials and labourers but they first need suppliers.'

Six projects will benefit from the North Central, five from the North East, four from the North West, four from the South East, six from the South-South and the remaining three from the South West Zone.

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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Jan 10, 2019
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