Popoola Advocates Increase in Long-term Sustainable Finance

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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Sub-Saharan Africa, there must be an increase in long-term sustainable finance.

This is the submission of the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Mr Temi Popoola, at the CEO Breakfast Roundtable hosted by United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria.

He said the NGX has always provided its platform for the growth of sustainable finance in Nigeria by developing the nation’s green bond market.

“The NGX has over the years played a leading role in developing financial instruments that address sustainable development and promote financial inclusion in the Nigerian capital market.

“In recognition of Nigeria’s climate finance needs and the urgent action required to combat climate change as enshrined in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the exchange, in 2016, championed efforts along with government and industry stakeholders that culminated in the issuance of the maiden N10.69 billion (c. $25.8 million) 13.48% 5-year green bond in 2017.

“The exchange also played a leading role in promoting the development and issuance of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Ijarah Sukuk which has proven to be a highly attractive instrument that supports inclusion from Nigeria’s ethical investors and sharia-compliant investors who have a stronger preference for non-interest-based instruments,” Mr Popoola stated.

He further disclosed that the bourse is collaborating with other organisations like the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to build the capacity of potential green bond issuers in Nigeria.

“NGX has partnered with IFC to train issuers and market operators on the issuance of sustainable financial instruments.

“Through the training, NGX and IFC shared best practices in sustainable finance issuance, and educated potential issuers on the unique characteristics of green social and sustainable bonds, the specific advantages of each instrument, as well as the detailed step-by-step process for issuing these instruments,” the capital market expert said.

He said the NGX remains “committed to fostering the growth of sustainable financial products that integrate the financial risks and help issuers leverage the opportunities associated with the SDGs, the fight against climate change.”

Mr Popoola commended the United Nations Global Compact on the recent launch of the Africa Strategy and encouraged private sector leaders to support the initiative.

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