Nigerian government is spending N2.8 trillion on road projects

According to the Director of Highways, roads around the nation are undergoing repair and improvements.

Uzo said that the road projects are partly being funded by proceeds of the Sukuk bond. This, he explained that the financing of ongoing road projects outside the Sukuk amounts to N1.8 trillion while the actual cost of the 25 Sukuk funded roads projects is N1 trillion.

NAN recalls that the federal government had in 2017 raised N100 billion from Sukuk to fund 25 selected roads projects across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

"The total contract sum of all the 25 Sukuk funded road projects is about N1 trillion and this means that the N100 billion raised through Sukuk cannot finish the projects. What is happening now is that the Sukuk fund is being deployed to certain areas of the 25 roads that have been identified."

"This means that on a 100-kilometer road, for instance, it could be five or 10 km that the Sukuk allocation for that specific project could address and not the entire dualization work. If you add up N1.8 trillion costs of other projects outside Sukuk, it will come up to N2.8 trillion projects being undertaken by the ministry," he said.

N57 billion had been disbursed to contractors handling the Sukuk funded road projects out of the N100 billion raised according to the Director. Also, the outstanding N47 billion would be disbursed based on work done by the contractors.

"The money is there, if the contractors had completed their work, we would have exhausted the N100 billion by now."

The director said the Sukuk fund, raised from the capital market, had certain rules guiding its disbursement. Also that the fund had trustees who oversee its disbursement on behalf of the investors and project monitoring consultants working for the trustees to evaluate the quantum of work being done.

"For each payment certificate, those project monitoring consultants have to jointly go with the ministry supervising staff and the contractors to measure and agree on the amount of work done. Then quantify it in terms of monitoring certification before sending it to the ministry and then to the Debt Management Office, so it is not like a normal capital allocation from the Federation Account," he added.

The ongoing projects are hoping to be nearing completion at the beginning of 2019 before the next electoral elections.

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