By ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged Nigerians to take advantage of the introduction of sovereign SUKUK offer by the federal government, saying it is geared towards infrastructural development and worthwhile investment.
Speaking at a one-day investors’ forum organised by the Debt Management Office (DMO) in Kaduna on Thursday, CBN’s deputy director of Financial Markets Department, Mr. Demenongu Yanfa, assured participants at the forum of the apex bank’s commitment to the smooth running of SUKUK.
According to Yanfa, SUKUK will not only allow Nigerians take ownership of the roads with half yearly rental incomes, but will also fast track the building of road infrastructure in the country.
“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”, he said.
He expressed optimism that Nigerians will embrace the 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 of DMO, 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, adding 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”, she said.
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.
Her words: “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.”