AMINA HUSSAINI, Abuja
Some jobs may have been saved from the impacts of the Covid-19 and the economy more liquid with the injection of a total of N995.665 billion for capital projects in the implementation of the 2020 revised budget.
Under the revised 2020 budget, the government had appropriated the sum of N1. 347 trillion for capital projects across the country owing to the Virus attack that has disrupted cash inflows.
With the release of the N162.667 billion sukuk money that is for road projects, the total disbursement for capital expenditure has come to 50 percent by July.
The release will create new jobs as new projects are to start and saved the jobs of those working on exisiting ones that are to continue with the fund injection.
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed hinted that the total release Monday while presenting a cheque of the N162.667 billion realized from the 2020 Sukuk issuance to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola in Abuja.
“Mr. President directed the release of 50 percent of this amount during the signing of the revised budget before the end of July 2020. The total capital releases to date is N995. 665 billion, including Sukuk.”
The release of the N162. 557 billion to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has now brought to a close, the amount appropriated for roads projects financed by Sukuk in 2020 budget.
She said, “The government has been greatly encouraged by the tremendous success recorded with regards to improvements in road infrastructure across the six geopolitical zones with the intervention of this special funding.
“Besides, the fact that the pieces of evidence of the use of the proceeds by way of works done are there for all to see, the comments and feedback received from commuters, transporters, other businesses, investors, and other well-meaning Nigerians have been heart-warming.”
In her remarks, the Director-General (D-G) of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha described the event as a celebration of the successful completion of the Third Sovereign Sukuk issued by her organization, on behalf of the federal government, last month.
She said that with the issuance of the third Sukuk, the federal government had raised the sum of N362. 577 billion, “all of which are for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of road projects across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
“The strong response to the Third Sovereign Sukuk for which a total subscription of N669.12 billion was received for the N150 billion that was offered, which represents a subscription level of 446.08 percent, is indicative of good market awareness and acceptance of Sukuk as a financial product, both which are project-tied, to support the development of infrastructure and other capital projects.”
Receiving the cheque, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), the Minister of Works and Housing, said the event was, “clear evidence of transparency in the utilization of Sukuk proceeds.”
Fashola said that the federal government valued the trust of the Sukuk investors and that such a trust would not be misapplied in the 44 roads projects to benefit from the N162.557 billion.
The minister described it as one of the ways that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was distributing wealth among Nigerians through infrastructure financing, adding, contractors would return to work and employ workers, quarry operators and transporters of construction materials would be engaged and commuters would experience improved travel time.