Nigeria’s foremost entrepreneur and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has described the debut N100billion Federal Government of Nigeria Sukuk offer as a paradigm shift in government’s effort at seeking alternative funding for critical infrastructure.
Speaking in Lagos when the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms. Patience Oniha, paid him a courtesy visit, Dangote described the Sukuk as a commendable initiative and urged Nigerians to invest in the offer which has the full faith and credit of the federal government.
According to him, though the Dangote Group was doing a lot with the government, the company would invest in the financial instrument as a way to promote infrastructural development.
“I must commend the DMO for having this creativity with this N100 billion Sukuk initiative. It is a right move in the right direction as government seeks for fresh capital to fund infrastructure in the country.
“I want to urge Nigerians to invest in the offer as it is high yielding with 16.47 per cent. It is tax-free and will be beneficial to all who invest, it will enhance infrastructural growth.
“I encourage each and every Nigerian, including myself, to participate. We as a company will participate,” he said.
“I know we are doing a lot already with government but that will not stop us from investing in this instrument because without infrastructure no economy can grow. That is why I think it is a good investment,” Dangote said.
Speaking earlier, the DG, DMO, Oniha, said she and her team were on the visit to solicit his support for the debut Sovereign Sukuk offer, stressing that the funds will be dedicated solely to road infrastructure.
Oniha explained that the DMO and the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing have identified 25 major road projects across the six geo-political zones which the proceeds from the issuance of the Sukuk would be used to develop.
She further stated that the Sukuk fund would be applied to critical sections of the 25 road projects to accelerate their completion.
The federal government is offering N100 billion in the first sovereign Sukuk offer with a tenor of seven years, rental income will be paid twice yearly and the principal will be repaid in full at the end of the tenor to investors.