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Nigeria Green Bonds: Completing the Task of Issuance

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Nigeria Green Bonds: Completing the Task of Issuance

Nigeria Green Bonds: Completing the Task of Issuance

By Esther Agbarakwe

The Paris Agreement signed and ratified by President Muhammadu Buhari in March of 2017 has an often-overlooked yet critical provision. In article 2 it outlines the aims of the agreement, one of which is “Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development”.

The Federal Ministry of Environment (FMEnv) under the leadership of the Hon Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril has significantly progressed a process that started in September of 2016 with a stakeholders forum that attracted key development partners, capital market operators and public sector institutions.

The initiative has resulted in a plan to issue a program of N150 billion in green bonds over the next few months with a pilot issue of N12.384 billion in the 3rd quarter of 2017 and the balance over the course of the budget year. Collaboration between Ministry of Environment and Finance continues to pull together the institutional partners necessary to achieve what would be Nigeria and Africa’s first sovereign green bond and the worlds 3rd.

Nigeria Green Bonds: Completing the Task of Issuance

Growth of the Global Green Bond Market

The global market for green bonds took off in 2005 with an issuance by the European Investment Bank (EIB), since then the market has grown significantly to an annual issuance market last year of USD80 billion. Green bonds are like regular bonds, with a slight difference – they can only be used to fund projects that have been identified to have environmental benefits and their contribution to emissions reduction clearly articulated.

The global market for green bonds is expected to exceed last year’s amount and China remains a dominant participant in the market. Issuances to date have been largely by corporates and parastatals with the first sovereign issuance in November of last year for Eur750m by Poland and a follow on by France in January of 2017 for Eur7 billion. Commitments by signatory nations in the Paris agreement are expected to boost this market as resources are redirected toward development objectives that are sustainable from a climate perspective and contribute to global reduction in emissions.

Nigeria Green Bonds: Completing the Task of Issuance

Federal Ministry of Environment Preparation

The Ministry of Environment as custodian of the nations commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has provided considerable direction to the process of issuance to ensure that the key elements needed for identification of projects that will meet the green credentials are in place.

In November of 2016 the Ministry issued its Green Bond Guidelines drawing from the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Green Bond Principles (GBP). Working through the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (ICCC), it engaged various Federal Government Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to identify projects with green credentials that will provide the foundation for issuance of the green bond.

In agreement with the Minister of Finance (MOF), the projects are required to be included in the budget approved by the National Assembly and assented to by the President.

Inter Agency Participation

The Debt Management Office (DMO) as key issuer of FG debt is the key liaison with the Ministry of Environment. A Green Bond Account to hold the resources was recently created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) after approval from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF).

Frequent engagement between FMEnv and the Budget Office of the Federation (BOF) within the Ministry of Budget and National Planning (MOBNP), with the June 13th signing of the 2017 budget by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo has affirmed the allocations to the identified projects.

The projects are Energizing Education Program (EEP) for N9.5 billion, the Renewable Energy Micro Utility (REMU) for N475m and the FMEnv’s Afforestation Program for N2.3 billion for a total of N12.38 billion.

Nigeria Green Bonds: Completing the Task of Issuance

The Green Bond Advisory Group

To enable the Federal government draw on a wide arrange of expertise in progressing and developing the issuance of the green bond, the Ministry of Environment and Finance established the Green Bond Advisory Group (GBAG).

The GBAG is made up of development partners (World Bank, DfID, AfDB, & IFC), Capital Market Operators (Nigeria Stock Exchange, Capital Assets, Chapel Hill Denham & Stanbic IBTC) and Climate Bonds Initiative, London.

The GBAG meets frequently with its first meeting in January of 2017 leading to a conference on green bonds in Lagos in February of 2017 at which the Acting President was a key note speaker. The GBAG remains the interface between the development partners and the capital market in ensuring the pilot issuance of the green bond happens in the 3rd quarter of 2017

Benefits to DMO Debt Strategy

The DMO has disclosed its strategy to be the restructuring of the Federal Government’s debt portfolio to replace short tenured bonds with long tenor and high rates with lower rates.

This strategy includes the tapping of the international capital markets and a green bond issuance with the right framework will provide a credible platform to tap into the global market for green bonds.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has indicated a willingness to participate in the green bond advisory group to provide necessary guidance to the FG to achieve this objective.

Benefits to the Economic Recovery & Growth Plan

The recent launch of the government’s Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP) has key objectives that are a catalyst for the issuance of the green. In addition to having as its objective the meeting of some of the goals in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it also has as an objective the issuance of a green bond to fund projects that have environmental benefits.

Some of the objectives in the ERGP include; identification of revenue flows to government, job growth and creation. Population impact and improvement in livelihoods are articulated in the targets of the individual projects to be funded by the green bond.

Summary

To deliver on the Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) will require a fundamental re-orientation of financial flows within the economy.

Capital will need to flow toward low-carbon, climate resilient opportunities and away from carbon intensive, polluting activities or those that exacerbate climate vulnerability leading to poverty, insecurity and reduced health quality.

The issuance of the green bond will begin the process of green the federal budget and the capital market. It will also demonstrate to the global community Nigeria’s commitment to achieving its targets in the NDCs.

For the FGs debt portfolio it adds to the cocktail of capital products that are being explored in ensuring resources are available to fund the FG annual budget.

On a strategy level it provides a platform for DMO to achieve the objective of extending tenor of the FG debt portfolio and also reduce interest cost. It would also establish a framework by which sub nationals and corporate can tap into the green bond market.

Esther Agbarakwe works with the Federal Ministry of Environment

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Registration Requirements For Business Entities In Nigeria

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Successful Small Business

By Benita Ayo

Registering a business venture is oftentimes the best and wisest move an entrepreneur should always take before launching out. The reason for this is not far-fetched.

In most situations, when an entrepreneur fails to register his business prior to its commencement, the desired business name may become subject to disapproval whenever he chooses to register the business at a later date.

This is one reason why it is strongly advised that a business undergoes the necessary registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Let it be known that it is never enough to simply register a business and retreat. There are still things the law expects a business owner to do after registration of a business with the CAC.

For instance, every business entity, such as (Limited Liability Company (Public or Private), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), Limited Partnership (LP), Business Name (BN), Incorporated Trustees (IT) etc, are all expected to file the Annual Returns of their businesses on or before the 30th June of each fiscal year. Failure to do this attracts penalties for default.

In extreme circumstances, where a business entity has failed to file its Annual Returns for consecutive years, the entity’s profile with the Corporate Registry will be deemed inactive.

In sum, while most business entities continue to transact their businesses unabated, a check on their profiles at the Corporate Registry will reveal that such businesses are, in truth, inactive.

A company whose Corporate Profile is ‘inactive’ is on the watch list of the CAC for de-listing.

You may contact me via the under-listed channels for further consultations on the following services;

  • Business/Company Registrations
  • Annual Returns filing
  • Re-activation of ‘inactive’ corporate profiles
  • Corporate Profile search etc.

WhatsApp: +2348063775768

Email: jaybella120@gmail.com

Benita Ayo is a Seasoned Corporate Commercial Counsel with over nine years of post-call experience. She has handled myriads of briefs in Corporate/Commercial, Employment Law as well as Property Transactional Practice.

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Checkmating The LGBT Incursion In African Politics: The Nigerian Case Study And Consequences

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LGBT

By Kwame lbrahim

The number of Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) persons in Nigeria, though largely undocumented officially, has continued to rise exponentially, especially among teenagers, youths and adults.

According to several projects related to fact-finding research and spontaneous polls conducted in some institutions of higher learning and amongst clusters of young people in social media groups and platforms, this is common everywhere but more pronounced in cities of Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Abuja, Maiduguri, Ibadan, Kaduna and Owerri.

This is even spreading all over the country at a growing rate despite the legal statutes and social responses, which have clearly red-flagged the queer preference and defined homosexuality as illegal in Nigeria and punishable by up to 14 years of prison in the conventional court system.

Nigeria is a largely conservative country, and the very Western proclivity towards openly embracing gay rights and LGBT penchants are deemed not only as anathema but also an unacceptable negation and disrespect for the very foundation on the mores and decency which its cultural, religious, traditional and secular communal existence have been built and have continued to thrive over the years.

As Nigeria evolves into a more post-modern and more globalized society, credible findings have revealed that the fundamental threat that this surge in queer attitude poses for its secularity is disturbingly manifest in the deliberate and determined effort by LGBT advocates to take over the political, legislative process in its 2023 elections.

The basic aim of such financiers is to subsequently secure sufficient representatives in its National Assembly to push for and promulgate the law legalising and legitimizing homosexuality.

In the past, such an attempt was resisted by communities in Kenya through the support of community leaders and its government, but the Nigerian situation seems different because of the present unholy silence that has greeted many aspirants for senatorial and House of Representative positions of some political parties that have well known LGBT sympathizers and practitioners as their candidates.

This is indeed a worrisome phenomenon which, if allowed to become a reality, will not only erode the very fabric of Nigeria’s original existential identity but would dangerously affect the acceptable balance of decency and straight relationship, which have been the hallmarks of a majority of traditional families in Nigeria and Africa.

There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria society will be confronted with dire consequences if this queer LGBT advocacy gains traction in its National Assembly, especially when such a law would embolden the gays and lesbians to openly challenge and even violently rubbish any real or perceived rational and normal counter-argument against this quite uncharacteristic behaviour in its society.

Furthermore, there is no doubt whatsoever that a law legitimizing LGBT tendencies would result in uncontrolled homophobia, which will radically disrupt peaceful existence and dislocate many straight people, who will be subjected to unprovoked assaults by those gloating to endorse the new legislation on the streets, schools, bars and restaurants, churches and other places where the need to impose the law would be deemed necessary and patriotic.

This sad intent through politics by introducing and sponsoring LGBT members into the National Legislative System of Africa’s most populous Nation will, of course, come at a great social, existential cost and unleash in its wake major destructive consequences to all African societies, the Nigerian nation and most developing communities of the world.

Against the backdrop of an anticipated backlash of violent and berserk orgies of unprovoked violence by members of the LGBT community, who had hitherto felt constrained, the need to sensitise the general public through the various channels of communication becomes highly recommended and inevitable, especially in recognition of the fact that this behaviour and the attendant defensive fightback, will definitely escalate if such is not checked at this 2023 election period in Nigeria.

All well-meaning Nigerians must act swiftly at this point of the electoral and voting process, where all the gains already achieved from the existing bill prohibiting and stipulating penalties for such queer practices can be reversed if they allow the pro-gay and LGBT sympathizers to dominate the National Assembly with their presence as elected Representatives as they would have a voice on the floors of the two parliaments to destroy its moral standards and religious beliefs.

The accommodation, maturity, peaceful, harmonious coexistence and decency which exist in Nigerian society would all be eroded once the legislation to legalise same-sex and LGBT relationships are achieved. A stitch in time saves nine. This is a time for community, traditional and religious leaders to speak up. This is the time for the electorate to grow in proper awareness of the consequences of making inappropriate choices.

Already, findings from credible investigations conducted to ascertain the next strategic ploy by the Queer community to accomplish the deliberate agenda of forcing legislation that would favour their cause indicate that the LGBT community in Nigeria has set its target at producing twenty House of Representative members from four states, namely: Sokoto, Kano, Rivers and Lagos, during the 2023 election.

In states where party tickets could not be secured in the two major political parties, sympathetic aspirants were sponsored with huge amounts of funding to join fresh parties with the clear intent to attract followers, which is a major catalyst for political mobilisation in a country like Nigeria.

Specifically, Kano, Lagos and Rivers states are said to have recorded huge success for this aspiration. However, the extent to which these plans work out would largely depend on the acceptance or rejection of these aspirants by the level of awareness created for the voting public, especially through their leaders.

Kwame lbrahim, PhD, is from the African Research Institute and Doctoral School of Safety & Security Services, Budapest, Hungary

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Buying Naira with Naira, Rantings And Musings

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the new Naira notes

By Prince Charles Dickson PhD

Under pressure we wail under pressure, under pressure black people under pressure, under pressure Nigerians under pressure. No food in we belly, no money in ah we pocket, no bed we lay we head.

The people dem are suffer, in ah ghetto, in ah city, everywhere dah me go oh, me see them, some are cry, some are die, some are weeping! Some are wailing! Everywhere dah oh eh. Under pressure we wail under pressure, under pressure everybody under pressure, Ras Kimono Under Pressure

You see the Nigerian looks upon Nigeria as a theatre and the entire population representing and manifesting the full spectrum of acts and actors. In this revelry, life is the theatre; the nation is the stage upon which we perform. The politicians and a few of us are the actors, very often mediocre. When stars appear, it is more often because a play must have a star rather than because the player is possessed of some dramatic genius. We saw it with Obasanjo, we saw it with Mr Yar’adua, and with the shoeless one, we are seeing it with the soon-to-end Mr Buhari. We falter and we muff our lines; sometimes our performance takes on an aspect of the grotesque-nobody takes this seriously because it is perceived as being the nature of the play. Our people become the audience.

I once watched with bemusement a deaf and dumb boy who caught his mom with a stranger in bed. When his father came home, the poor young boy was at a loss on how to communicate his discovery. After several futile attempts, the boy ceased trying. The father, on the other hand, patted him, walked into the bedroom and was scolding the wife, he asked her why she was sick, rolling on the bed and could not call for help from the neighbours or the family doctor.

I am not going to talk about the currency redesign brouhaha, because as good a policy as it supposedly is, again, it has exposed the gross behavioural nature of some Nigerians. The central bank, the commercial banks, the bankers, the PoS Operators and the general populace are guilty of varying degrees of culpability.

And, then the fuel palaver, the same one that once upon a time Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said: “This is the winter period. There is always more demand for refined products from petroleum during winter in colder countries. This is what we are experiencing now.” Today, I guess it is winter in those places again. And at the black market, the usual trend, is certainly high petrol prices, unavailable and weak Naira, low minimum wage and increasing poverty.

Legislators are neither here nor there; governors’ are not sure where they stand. In all the noise the product disappears. Transportation fare increases, food prices skyrocket…a nation that has a disconnect between the ruled and its rulers, like the deaf and dumb boy, his mother, the stranger and his father.

The fact is, our currency wahala, and fuel palaver are not the government’s problem. What are we really subsidising? Is it the high cost of energy or unavailable petroleum products? Nigerians are tired, hungry and not in protest mode. There’s no fuel scarcity but fuel criminality because leadership lacks the will.

Where are the refineries promised, all gone with the wind called Turn Around Maintenance! There is no PMS in the fuel station, but unregistered marketers/blackmarkers all have the commodity… a continued rationalisation and justification of absurdities like a commentator put it. It is even more disheartening when the intellectual effort and voice of elites are at the heart of such theatricals due to ethnoreligious cleavages birthed by economic disenfranchisement.

Our major problem is the lack of leadership manifesting itself in every facet of our human endeavours. Some of these areas may be fixable in future if we get the right people with the right policies but how do you fix the future of the mass population of our children who are not getting educated today?

The future of Nigeria is bright, and interesting but scary if we reflect on it. Teachers are illiterate; students can’t go to school because schools are closed down, and alternatives are unaffordable, the change is bleak…

The fuel management chain is a lucrative cankerworm of corruption, our banking system is not exactly different, a serious government can yet tackle it, it’s beyond committees and white papers. It’s action; only action can stop the rot. Nigerians can, I believe we can but we don’t know that we can, and doubt if we are ready.

The reason is simple…we are not just part of the problem, in some cases, we are the problem, when Sunny Okunsun sang;

Which way Nigeria, which way to go? I love my fatherland, o yeah, I want to know; Yes, I want to know. I love my fatherland, which Nigeria is heading to? Many years after independence, we still find it hard to start. How long shall we be patient still we reach the promised land? Let’s save Nigeria, so Nigeria won’t die. Which way Nigeria? Every little thing that goes wrong, we start to blame the government. We know everything that goes wrong, we are part of the government.

Which way Nigeria is heading to? Inefficiency and indiscipline is ruining the country now; corruption here there and everywhere, inflation is very high. We make mistakes in the oil boom, not knowing that was our doom. Some people now have everything, while some have nothing. Which way Nigeria, which way to go?

I end with this encounter, a politician was charged with profanity for calling an opponent a bastard: the politician retorted, “When I call him s.o.b I am not using profanity. I am only referring to the circumstances of his birth”. What is the circumstance of the birth of Nigeria, can anything be done to bring destiny and fate to conjure up some good for us all?

The elites are having a field day, but with each fleeting moment, three facts of life beckon, the rising of the sun, the setting of the moon and truth, only time will tell.

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