The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has stated that it would have to borrow in the region of N200 billion to fund infrastructure development, such as roads and water projects across the Territory.
FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, made this known in Abuja during the inauguration of a Technical Committee on the proposed FCT SUKUK loan request of N200 billion for its 2022 Statutory Budget, in his office on Tuesday.
The loan facility according to the Minister is needed to enable the FCTA to achieve its plan of rehabilitating and expanding some existing roads in the city and opening up more roads to arrest traffic gridlock on major roads in the city.
Bello stated that: “Unprecedented influx of people to the FCT” since the return to democracy in 1999, Bello opined that alternative funding outside statutory funding to finance the completion of projects in the FCT was inevitable.”
He decried that troubling demographic changes consequently overstretched Abuja’s infrastructure and social amenities, while resources for development became more and more scarce and unavailable, this threatening the dreams of the capital’s founding fathers.
Expressing gratitude to the Debt Management Office (DMO) and National Assembly for their continued support, Bello stated that the proposed N200 billion loan would complement the N29 billion loan earlier received from the Federal Ministry of Finance through SUKUK funding.
Some of the terms of reference handed the seven-man technical committee include developing a framework for accessing SUKUK fund by the FCTA in the domestic capital market for financing of infrastructure projects in the FCT; review and advise on the procedure and options for obtaining sovereign guarantee for the issuance of SUKUK by the FCTA and prepare the budget estimates for the issuance of SUKUK by the FCT and present same for approval.
Others include advising on the appointment of transaction parties and methodologies and advising on the eligibility and packaging of projects identified for funding with the proceeds of SUKUK, among others.
Earlier, Director-General, DMO, Ms Patience Oniha, while assuring the FCTA support in obtaining the loan facility, warned that it should be judiciously used for the purposes it was sought.
She stated that one could hardly drive around Nigeria without noticing the good works of Sukuk, adding that Sukuk has attracted a lot of goodwill from Nigerians because they were witnessing work done with monies borrowed.
Senator, representing FCT and Senate Minority Whip, Sen. Philip Aduda; Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Sen Abubakar Kyari, and Chairman, House Committee on FCT, Abdullahi Idris Garba, who was represented by Hon Igariwe Iduma, all pledged support to the FCT Administration and promised to continue to work together to archives its goals.