Fatima Haliru —
The Director-General of Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha in Abuja, said its Sukuk bond offerings are designed to improve roads, infrastructure, develop the financial market and also promote financial inclusion.
She spoke against the backdrop of the recently announced N100billion Ijarah Sukuk bonds offer for by the DMO.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the bonds were offered at 15.64 per cent per annum and will be due in 2032.
Oniha said the Sukuk bond is significant because, it provides the opportunity to raise that quantum of funds just for roads and bridges.
“The Sukuk has become a product that sells itself, but we will be happy to have a lot more people invest in it, she said.
“We have several other products that both local and foreign investors can invest in, but the Sukuk has an added advantage in that it is financing infrastructure, driving retail investors and promoting financial inclusion.
“We are developing the financial market and also giving Nigerians more investment opportunities”, Oniha stated.
She added that the Sukuk is a product that Nigerians are demanding.
“Even the contractors are interested because they want to work, and once they are assured of payment they go to site and begin to work, ” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, said 44 road projects are currently funded under the Sukuk programme.
Sukuk is an Islamic liquidity management instrument used by many governments and corporations to finance big projects.
Since the establishment of the initiative in Nigeria in September 2017, the DMO has issued three Sovereign Sukuk in 2017, 2018 and 2020.