By Emma Ujah
ABUJA—The proceeds of N100 billion Sukuk are being applied to infrastructure development across the country, Director -General of Debt Management Office, DMO, Ms. Patience Oniha, has said.
She spoke at the beginning of the inspection of roads being constructed with the proceeds of the bond.
The proceeds were designated for the financing of 25 road projects across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
From the list of road projects made available to the public when the Sukuk was issued, these were major roads that will facilitate the movement of people, goods and services to contribute to economic growth and development.
It would be recalled that the current administration had prioritised investment in infrastructure as a major focus in its plans for the growth of the economy and job creation.
The Sukuk represents a promise kept and a step forward in Nigeria’s drive for the development of infrastructure, which is in line with Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, launched by the government in 2017.
The team visited Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja Road, Obajana-Okene Road, Suleja-Minna Road and Kaduna Eastern Bypass Road.
During the inspection, the team assessed progress on the work that had been done as well as ongoing rehabilitation and construction works on the roads.
The team interacted with various contractors handling the projects. The inspection revealed that significant amount of work had been done and the contractors expressed their appreciation for the Sukuk, which assured them of prompt payment for work done.
The Sukuk has incentivised the contractors to accelerate work on the selected roads because of the confidence that the government had dedicated funds already in place to pay them upon completion of milestones.
Of particular significance was the fact that the funds from the Sukuk had made it possible to construct the Okene Bypass, a new road which would ensure a safer and more convenient journey for travellers and residents by moving traffic away from the township and reducing congestion on the roads within the town.
Similarly, the Kaduna Eastern Bypass, whose construction had been delayed by inadequate funding, will ease traffic within the Kaduna metropolis, while also improving the travel experience for persons transiting through Kaduna to other towns.