Budget: FG Releases N995.7bn for Capital Projects

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SWITZERLAND, JULY 21 – The Federal Government says it has so far released N995.7bn for capital projects as it implements the 2020 revised budget.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this in Abuja on Monday, also noted that a total of N1.35tn was appropriated for capital expenditure in the revised budget.

This came as the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, received from Ahmed a cheque of N162.56bn realised through the 2020 Sukuk issuance.

In her address while presenting the cheque to the works ministry, the finance minister said, “Under the revised 2020 budget, the government appropriated the sum of N1.35tn for capital expenditure.

“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 released to date is N995.67bn, including Sukuk.”

Ahmed stated that with the latest amount released as Sukuk fund to the works ministry, the amount appropriated for roads projects financed by Sukuk in the 2020 budget had been fully released.

The Director-General, Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, said the presentation of the cheque marked the successful completion of the third sovereign Sukuk issued by her organisation on behalf of the Federal Government in June.

According to her, with the issuance of the third Sukuk, the Federal Government has raised the sum of N362.58bn, all of which were for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads projects across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.

She said, “The strong response to the third sovereign Sukuk for which a total subscription of N669.12bn was received for the N150bn that was offered, which represents a subscription level of 446.08 per cent, is indicative of good market awareness and acceptance of Sukuk as a financial product.”

On his part, Fashola said the Federal Government valued the trust of the Sukuk investors, adding that such trust would not be misapplied in the 44 road projects to benefit from the N162.56bn.

He said contractors would return to work and employ workers, quarry operators and transporters of construction materials would be engaged, as commuters would experience improved travel time.

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