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(L-R) Chairman, Senate Committee on the FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari, and FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello at the inauguration of the Technical Committee on the FCT SUKUK issuance at the FCT Minister’s office on Tuesday

By Ignatius Ushie

The Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has inaugurated an 8-man Technical Committee drawn from the FCTA and Debt Management Office (DMO) for the issuance of N200 billion Sukuk for the FCT 2022 statutory budget with a charge on members to carry out their assignment diligently with a great sense of responsibility.

Speaking at the inauguration, which took place at the conference room in the Ministers office, Malam Bello described the event as a giant leap in furtherance to the fulfilment of the FCTA’s mandate of building a world class national capital.

According to him,  “We consider the inauguration today of the technical committee on the proposed FCT issuance of SUKUK of the sum of 200 billion Naira for the FCT 2022 statutory budget as a landmark event that will propel us faster to meeting our desired objective of building a world class city for Nigeria, adding that

the pressure on existing infrastructure, occasioned by the influx of people into the FCT as well as dwindling allocated funds necessitated the need for sukuk fund as an alternative source of funding of capital projects that have great bearing on residents of the Territory.

He said: “Resources available for the development of the Territory no longer matched the infrastructural need, with a resulting fear that Abuja may not achieve the dreams of its founding fathers.

“For this reason, we needed to rehabilitate and expand some existing roads in the city as well as open up some others to arrest traffic gridlocks along major roads within and around the city and satellite towns. Hence the need to seek for an alternative source of funding outside our statutory funding to finance the completion of some projects with huge capital outlay but with the potential for maximum positive impact on residents”, he added.

The Minister commended the government of President Muhammadu Buhari for making Sukuk, under the Debt Management Office, available to the FCT adding, that, “Sukuk has come to the rescue”, while reminiscing the era of the PTF projects which he said the Sukuk projects across the country reminded him of.

The N29 billion Sukuk previously approved for the FCT is being used for the completion of various road projects that would further open up the FCT and put an end to the hardship motorists experience while navigating from one point of the FCT to another. Malam Bello added that the proposed N200Billion Sukuk would focus on the completion of major on-going water, street lightening and additional road projects.

while reading out the Committee’s Terms of Reference which amongst others include; Developing a framework for accessing Sukuk fund for the FCTA; Review and advise on the procedure and options for obtaining sovereign Guarantee for the issuance of Sukuk; Prepare a budget estimate for the issuance and advise on requisite approvals, Malam Bello charged it to carry out its assignment Malam Bello also commended the National Assembly, especially, lawmakers overseeing the FCT whom, he said, he had enjoyed their support and guidance since he became Minister.

In her remarks, the DG, Debt Management Office, Ms Patience Oniha commended the FCT Minister for his drive and foresight while expressing excitement that the SUKUK fund was being used well and the result visible in the projects being executed in the FCT.

Speaking, the Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari advised the FCTA to also focus on the development of satellite towns of the FCT to relieve the pressure on the Federal Capital City, (FCC), a sentiment echoed by the Senator representing the FCT, Senator Philip Aduda.

Present at the inauguration were, the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Igariwey Enwo, FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, Chief of Staff to the Minister, Malam Bashir Mai Borno, Secretary, Economic Planning, Revenue Generation and PPP, Hon. Agboola Lukman Dabiri and other management staff of the FCTA.

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