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Experts seek more investment in green bonds

By Benjamin Alade
07 May 2019   |   3:59 am
Experts, who gathered at the maiden edition of the Access Bank Sustainability Summit (TABSS), in Lagos, recently...

Climate change

Experts, who gathered at the maiden edition of the Access Bank Sustainability Summit (TABSS), in Lagos, recently, have stressed the need for Nigeria to invest in green bond issuance to fund climate change activities.

Special Adviser to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor on Sustainable Banking, A’isha Usman Mahmood, said: “Climate change has the potential to create physical, social and economic destruction on an unprecedented extent. Therefore it is important that we are able to mobilise low carbon finance.

“Green bond issuance is one of the pathways we need to follow to ensure that we have the ability to generate a model for financing our climate change activities.”

She said Nigeria had already issued a $10.69 billion bonds, and planned to issue another $15billion bond later in the year through Access Bank, adding that CBN will continue to work with financial institutions to promote the sustainability agenda, and ensure that the country reduced its greenhouse gas emission.

Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, said the summit is timely, as industry leaders are now recognszing the impact of sustainability as a key driver to accelerating development.

Wigwe, who was represented by the bank’s Head of Communications , Amaechi Okobi, said the overarching aim of the summit is to provide a platform for consultation on the UNEP-FI Global Responsible Banking Principles in an African context, as well as discuss the role and responsibility of financial institutions and their impact on the achievement of the social development goals (SDGs).

“Growing debt issuance across Africa opens the door to introducing ‘use of proceeds’ features such as green bonds and associated certification, and oversight processes, as a means of attracting new sources of finance,” he said.

Chair in Business and Sustainable Development/Director, Sustainable Business Initiative, University of Edinburg, Prof. Kenneth Amaeshi, who delivered a keynote address, said: “We have a weak manufacturing base and our contribution to climate change is very minimal.”
The opportunity for us is to pursue manufacturing in a way that is sustainable, and we have a clean slate not to make the mistake of the west,” Amaeshi said.

Earlier in her remarks, Head, Sustainability at Access Bank Plc, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, said as the SDGs’ achievement progresses, the importance of finance, and the role of financial organisations has become increasingly crucial.

“This places significant responsibility on banks to influence corporate environmental discipline through financial policies and guidelines that are beneficial to environmental issues, sustainable development and resources,” Victor-Laniyan said.