By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has received a sovereign Sukuk Symbolic Cheque of N162.557 billion for the construction of roads across the country.
Fashola was presented with the cheque on recently in Abuja by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.
Ahmed said one of the key pillars of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan was the development of critical infrastructure projects with a view to removing the impediments to growth and development in the economy.
“As a result, Mr President has priotised capital expenditure on the development of roads, rails, power and agriculture projects.
“The Debt Management Office (DMO) has raised the sum of N162.557 billion from investors in June 2020. This is strictly dedicated to the financing of road projects in the Revised 2020 Appropriation Act.
“It also means that with the release of N162.557 billion to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, the amount appropriated for Road Projects in 2020 Budget has been fully released.
She said with the deployment of sukuk funds coupled with other capital releases and various interventions by government, the economy would soon be on the path to economic development.
Fashola, in his presentation, said the people who put money in the sukuk were fund managers and the owners of the funds, adding that it was a matter of trust which they had for the administration that made them release their hard earned money.
Similarly, Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Adamu Aliero, said road construction was synonymous to economic development, adding that it also enhances security and generate a lot of economic activities in the country.
Aliero said the National Assembly was willing to collaborate with ministry and stakeholders in the building of infrastructure.
On his part, the Deputy-Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Chris Azubogu, while commending the government for using the Sukuk fund to accomplish the construction and rehabilitation of roads, urged for a better means of funding.
Speaking on behalf of contractors, Nabeel Esawi, Managing Director, RCC, commended the government for releasing the funds and assured that all roads under the contracts would be completed in good time.