Over the past four years, Nigeria has through three Sukuk issuances raised a total of N362.557 billion, built road infrastructure, and the benefits on the use of the funds are there for all to see, according to the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed.
In her keynote address yesterday at the Capacity Building Workshop on Sukuk as a Veritable Infrastructural Financing Alternative in Nigeria, she stated that Sukuk has been an important contributor to the construction and rehabilitation of road infrastructure in the country.
“Over the past four years, we have through three Sukuk issuances, built road infrastructure. As you are all aware, and which may have informed the choice of the topic for this year’s event, lack of adequate infrastructure has been a challenge in Nigeria for decades,” she further stated.
Ahmed noted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari recognised the fact from the on-set and has made the development of critical infrastructure projects a key pillar in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) with a view to removing the impediments to growth and development in the economy.
According to her, in view of this, Mr. President has prioritised capital expenditure on the development of agriculture, roads, rail and power infrastructure projects in order to remove the impediments to ease of doing business, job creation and growth.
In her words: “The ERGP and the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) provide the details of what it will take to increase the nation’s infrastructure stock to the desired level and the administration is working on the initiatives.
“Despite resource constraints, the government released a total of ₦1.743 trillion for capital expenditure under the 2018 budget and had also delivered ₦1.165 trillion capital expenditure under the 2019 budget as at the end of December 2019.
“The Revised 2020 budget has a provision of N2.68trillion for capital expenditure (about 24 percent of aggregate expenditure) and over 50 percent of the amount has so far been released.
The key infrastructure projects receiving attention in the 2020 budget, according to her, include: The rehabilitation and maintenance of railway tracks and procurement of spare parts for the locomotives, coaches and wagons; provision of counterpart funding for the Mambilla Hydro Power project, construction of 215MW LPFO/Gas power station Kaduna and Afam Fast Power Programme Accelerated Gas and Solar Power Generation; the funding of the federal government National Housing Programme and Social Housing Scheme (Family Homes Fund); and the construction and rehabilitation of roads in every geopolitical zone of the country. She thanked the International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, Bayero University, Kano and TDD Ethica Consulting for organising the Workshop.