By Dipo Olowookere The sum of N162.6 billion raised from the sovereign Sukuk by the Debt Management Office (DMO) has been handed over to the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola. The fund would be used on 44 federal roads spread across the six geo-political zones of the country under the Sukuk roads project. The Director-General of the DMO, Ms Patience Oniha, said the release of the N162.6 billion was the third and final Sukuk secured financing obtained from investors in June 2020, for road project out of the total N462.6 billion raised by her agency. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who witnessed the presentation, said one of the key pillars of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) is the development of critical infrastructure projects with a view to removing the impediments to growth and development in the economy. She explained that the President through the annual budgets had prioritized capital expenditure on the development of roads, rail, power and agriculture infrastructure projects. She stated that the N162.6 billion signified the 100 per cent full deployment of the total amount raised by the debt office dedicated to roads project. The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, when receiving the money yesterday in Abuja, commended the partnership between the government and the private sector in the provision of Sukuk to finance roads project across the country. He listed the number of roads project being executed per geo-political zone as follows: North Central having eight, North East Eight, North West Seven, South West Six, South East Five and South-South having 10 roads each with the breakdown of the financial implication as follows: North Central N26.5 billion, North East N30.5 billion, North West N26.5 billion, South-East N26 billion, South-South N26 billion and South-West N27.05 billion. Speaking on the recent public debate on government borrowing and the concerns being raised by Nigerians, Mr Fashola explained that, with this Sukuk projects distribution, citizens will now see where and how the monies were being spent. He also listed the many economic benefits of roads construction to the people, saying that a lot of jobs have been created for labourers, artisans, suppliers of building materials, sands suppliers, farmers and even food vendors who make their daily earnings from the construction sides. \u201cPresident Muhammadu Buhari has been legitimately distributing wealth through investment in road infrastructure and the 100 million Nigerians he would take out of poverty in a decade would be achieved,\u201d he said.