Nigeria to Sustain Yearly Issuance of Sukuk

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By Bliss Okperan

The federal government has said it would continue to issue Islamic bonds, Sukuk, every year to fund critical road projects across the country.

The Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms Patience Oniha, made this disclosure on Thursday in Abuja.

She was asking investors to subscribe to the latest issuance of N150 billion by the Nigerian government, which started this week.

The national government intends to raise fresh N150 billion to fund some 53 road projects covering over 3,000 kilometres across the country.

“The government and people involved believe in the use of Sukuk and plan to continue offering it every year. The hope is that ethical investors will invest in the Sukuk,” Ms Oniha said.

She also noted that banks are interested in sukuk because of “its tax-exempt status and the liquidity it affords them.”

While highlighting infrastructure’s pivotal role in economic growth, the DMO chief said “infrastructure is an enabler of economic development,” expressing hopes that the Sukuk would be oversubscribed by ethical investors.

She urged them to take advantage of the opportunities presented in Sukuk to participate in subscribing to the offer, stating that tolls collected from the roads would be used to repay the Sukuk.

Ms Oniha also mentioned that the federal government remains committed to value-driven borrowing through project-focused Sukuk, which has contributed to visible road and bridge projects.

Sukuk is a non-interest and asset-backed bond that is based on the principles of Islamic finance.

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