[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged Nigerians to take advantage of the debut sovereign SUKUK offer by the federal government, stressing that it is geared towards infrastructural development and a worthwhile investment.
“The world is looking for new areas of investment. As of today, South Africa, Malaysia and some other countries of the world have embraced SUKUK to fund some of the construction and rehabilitation of key sectors of their economies, said CBN’s Deputy Director, Financial Markets Department, Mr. Demenongu Yanfa,
Speaking at a one-day investors’ forum organised by the Debt Management Office (DMO) in Kaduna on Thursday, assured participants at the forum of the apex bank’s commitment to the smooth running of the SUKUK.
According to Yanfa, the SUKUK will not only allow Nigerians take ownership of the roads with half yearly rental incomes, but will fast track the building of road infrastructure in the country.
He expressed the optimism that Nigerians will embrace this novel funding alternative for government’s projects, promising that the CBN will work with other relevant government agencies to ensure the success of the SUKUK.
Earlier, the Director General, Debt Management Office, Ms. Patience Oniha, explained that SUKUK is an investment certificate that represents the ownership interest of the holder in an asset or pool of assets, saying that the certificate entitles the holder to receive income from the use of the assets.
“N100 billion is proposed to be raised by Federal Government under the SUKUK programme through investors’ participation. The funds shall be used for the construction and rehabilitation of sections of key economic roads across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria”.
According to her, some of the road projects enlisted for the SUKUK include: Ibadan-Ilorin road (Oyo-Ogbomoso), Kolo-Otuoke- Bayelsa-Palm road, Enugu-Port – Harcourt Expressway, Kaduna Eastern By-Pass, Kano-Maiduguri road (Postiskum-Damaturu) and Bridge works for the Loko-Oweto Bridge over River Benue.
She assured investors that all the funds raised are pooled into a specific account at the CBN to ensure that those funds are spent for the purposes for which they were meant for.
“The SUKUK is sharia compliant as a non-interest security which has been approved by the Financial Regulatory Advisory Council of Experts of the Central Bank. With SUKUK, we can improve our road infrastructure and this will contribute to the improvement of economic activities across board.
“We have taken it upon ourselves to continue educating the public about the SUKUK and the Roadshow started in Lagos before moving to Port-Harcourt, Kano, Abuja and we are now in Kaduna to create awareness about the investment opportunity”, she concluded.
A participant at the Kaduna investor forum, Acting Managing Director of Kaduna Industrial and Finance Company, Mr. Sanusi Maigeri commended the DMO for the initiative, noting that the SUKUK is a veritable tool for financial inclusion.
“I call on potential investors to make use of the golden opportunity to available to them to invest in the SUKUK”, Sanusi said.
The Federal Government through the DMO is offering N100 billion through public offer, with a minimum investment amount of N10, 000.
The placement agents for the Offer are Access Bank, Citibank, Coronation Merchant Bank, EcoBank, FBN Merchant Bank, First Bank, FCMB Plc, FSDH Merchant Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Ltd, United Bank for Africa Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.