Green Bond Issuance Can Solve Nigeria’s $878bn Infrastructure Deficits- SEC DG

Acting Director-General of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk, at the weekend in Lagos, urged the various tiers of government and corporate entities to utilize green bonds issuance window to address Nigeria’s infrastructure deficits.
In a keynote speech at the workshop titled: “Green Finance and Associated Social Expectations,” organized by the Capital Markets Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN), Ms. Uduk said green bonds can be utilized to “improve agriculture and alleviate poverty while also protecting the environment – a multi-faceted strategy.”
Represented by the Head, Registration and Market Infrastructure Department, SEC, Emomotimi Agama, the acting DG urged stakeholders to address the nation’s infrastructure deficit which could hit $878bn by 2040.
Bond issuance, she explained, will enable government, excess “funds for important projects towards protecting the environment and reversing the harmful effects of climate change, signal the commitment of the Government to protect the environment and lead citizens to take climate change seriously, and create a benchmark for subsequent issuances by state governments and corporates for financing environmental projects.”
She noted the occurrence of “desertification in the north, migrations of population down south, deforestation in the south, erosion in the south east, flooding of food vegetation, rising sea levels in the coastal areas, oil pollution in the Niger Delta, and many more examples; all pointing to the fact that our infrastructural projects must now take into account the impact on environment, going forward.”
All of these, the acting DG continued, are effects of climate change, stressing that “the layout of the country, with respect to economic zones, has given a backdrop against which socially responsible projects must now be considered.
“The future holds opportunities for renewable energy, energy efficiency, infrastructure, food, agriculture and land use, the task ahead now is to ensure that funds are channeled to green projects with multiple social merits. The benefits are clear for all to see – to the issuer(s), to the reputational and economic gains of Nigeria, to the investor(s), and certainly to the growth of our financial markets.”
Uduk further assured that “the commission will continue to promote an active enabling environment for the issuance of these instruments by qualified entities.
“A few days ago, the commission launched the Green Bond Issuance Rules, after various interfaces with stakeholders across the value spectrum. It also played a vital role in the issuance of Nigeria’s pioneer issuance, and continues to advise the Ministry of the Environment and the Debt Management Office (DMO).”
She expressed the commission’s commitment “to providing enabling processes that meets international best practice in Green Bond issuance in Nigeria. We are already building capacity in collaboration with CBI and other experts among Staff and the Market towards ensuring the sustenance of quality in both issuance and regulation.”