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FG releases N996b 2020 capital votes

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Presents N163b Sukuk proceeds to contractors

The Federal Government has released N995. 665billion out of the N1.347trillion capital votes budgeted for the year. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed disclosed the development in Abuja yesterday at the presentation of N162. 557 billion cheque to contractors, being proceeds from the Sukuk Sovereign Bond debt raised by the Debt Management Office (DMO) from domestic capital market to finance 44 roads spread across the six geopolitical zones.

Ahmed said the release of the N995.665 billion commenced last week, with the last batch expected this week.On how the liquidity will impact on the economy and Nigerians, she said: “The 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 economy will be on the path of development.”

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola gave the distribution of the road projects to be funded with the Sukuk money as follows: North Central, 8 roads; North-East, 8; North West, 7; South East, 5; South South, 10 and South West, 6.

Fashola said the Sukuk proceeds would have positive impact on Nigerians as it would create wealth along the various value chains through supplies, employment opportunities as well as purchase of farmers’ produce.
According to him, it is President Muhammadu Buhari’s way of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by the end of the decade.

Earlier, the Director General of DMO, Ms. Patience Oniha, said that the completion of the third series of the Sukuk, which was oversubscribed, had shown that the borrowing window had been welcome by investors in the Nigerian debt market.

“The strong response to the third Sovereign Sukuk, for which a total subscription of N669.2 billion was received for the N150 billion that was offered, which represents a subscription level of 446.08 percent, was indicative of good market awareness and acceptance of Sukuk as a financial product .

“Therefore the DMO plans to continue to use Sukuk and other green bonds, both of which are projects- tied, to support the development of infrastructure and other capital projects,” she said.

A representative of the contractors and Managing Director of RCC Construction Company, Nabeel Esami promised that the companies would immediately remobilise to site and work hard to cover up for lost time caused by the lockdown compelled by COVID-19 pandemic.

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