Nigeria releases over $320m for 28 road projects

APA – Lagos (Nigeria)

The Nigerian government has released N100 billion (about $320 million) Sovereign Sukuk (non interest Islamic fund) proceeds to fund the construction of 642.69km roads across the nation.

Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said at the presentation of the cheque by Finance Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, in Abuja on Thursday that the money had been shared equally among the six geo-political zones in the country with each region having N16.67 billion for the number of roads to be completed in its jurisdiction.

He said that six roads would be constructed in the Northcentral, five in the Northeast, four in the Northwest, four in the Southeast, six in the Southsouth and three in the Southwest.

The minister said that the impact of the Sukuk bond would be on nation building through job creation, growth and employment.

According to him, the Federal Government contractors will be the first beneficiaries of the funds, which would in turn, trickle down to suppliers of building materials, artisans, miners and steel companies.

He explained that the proceeds will be disbursed on the construction and rehabilitation of 28 key economic roads captured in last year’s budget.

Presenting the cheque, Mrs. Ahmed said: “The funds will be released to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works & Housing based on the framework agreed with the Trustees in order to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of proceeds.”

She identified the Sukuk funding option as 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.”

The roads to be funded with the Sovereign Sukuk Fund, according to the the Finance minister, “will ease commuting, spur economic activities across the country and further close our infrastructural gap”. ($1=N305)


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