By Dipo Olowookere
A day has been set aside by the Federal Ministry Environment in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Finance and Debt Management Office to meet with investors and capital markets operators in Lagos for the first ever Green Bonds Conference.
This is part of efforts by the Federal Government to make Nigeria become a green economy.
The day for this event is Thursday, February 24, 2017 and it will take place at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) headquarters. The theme for the summit is ‘Green Bonds: Investing in Nigeria’s Sustainable Development.’
The keynote address is expected to be delivered by the Acting President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, while the Governors of Lagos and Ogun, Messrs Akinwunmi Ambode and Ibikunle Amosun respectively are the special guests.
According to a statement issued by the Communications Adviser in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Ms Esther Agbarakwe, during the event, there would be panel discussions, an exhibition and presentation of the identified projects in energy, agriculture, transport and environment with international investors and business leaders expected to take a lead.
The Sovereign Green Bonds project is part of a strategic process by the Federal Government to add to the nation’s funding options to catalyse the rebound of our economy and offer the vast majority of Nigerians, a new alternative.
The Green bonds issuance will be the first stage in enabling Nigerian tap into the growing global market for green bonds, which as of end of 2016 comprised of $576 billion of unlabelled climate-aligned bonds and $118bn of labelled green bonds according to Climate Bonds Initiative in London.
“A sovereign green bond represents a new stage in development of Nigerian capital markets and opens the way for further corporate issuance and international investment.
“The NSE is playing a key role to help develop this enormous opportunity for Nigeria and fulfil one of our key objectives as a member of the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative,” CEO of the NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema, was quoted as saying in the statement.
Nigeria’s first green bond issuance will be the first ever Sovereign issuance in an emerging market. According to the Minister of Environment, Ms Amina Mohammed, Green Bonds Project present such an opportunity and the investors conference for Nigeria’s first green bond issuance is timely.
The conference present a huge opportunity to discuss next step in the diversification of our economy and it will bring together institutional investors, banking finance and young social entrepreneurs that will ensure this initial bond launch is a success enabling the development of a green bond market while building our national climate finance capabilities.
Ms Mohammed and her counterpart in the Finance Ministry, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had on January 12, 2017 inaugurated a Public Private Advisory Group meeting on the Green Bonds, this was consolidating Stakeholders’ consultation held in late 2016.
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