SEC: Nigeria’s Infrastructure Deficit to Hit $878bn by 2040

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday said the country’s infrastructure deficit would hit $878 billion by 2040, and therefore called for active utilisation of green bond for infrastructural gap.

SEC acting Director-General, Mary Uduk, stated this at the 2018 annual workshop organised by the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) in Lagos.

She said Nigeria should tap into green bond opportunities, adding that the commission would continue to promote an active enabling and regulative environment for its issuance.

“The future holds opportunities for renewable energy, energy efficiency, infrastructure, food, agriculture, and the task ahead is to ensure funds are channeled to green projects with multiple socio-merits,” Uduk said.

Uduk said there must be more domestic participation in green bonds investment for Nigeria to claw its way out of deficit in infrastructure, power and energy, transportation as well as eliminating environmental degradation.

The DG SEC, who was represented by Head, Registration and Market Infrastructure Department, SEC, Mr. Emomotimi Agama, said it was necessary for Nigeria to stand at the forefront of innovations and initiatives.

She noted that the second tranche of green bonds which had been issued presented an opportunity for the country to solve its infrastructural deficit.

“The biggest opportunity, to my mind, which green bond issuances will present, is the potential to solve Nigeria’s infrastructural deficits, improve agriculture and alleviate poverty as well as protecting the environment-a multi-faceted strategy,” she said.

Also speaking, the Managing Director of FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, Mr. Bola Onadele, said $155 billion had been realised from the green bonds issuance, thereby gaining attention of investors.

Onadele, who was represented by the Senior Vice President, Economic Development Division at the Exchange, Emmanuel Etaderhi, said  the country’s resources was not growing in tandem with the rising population.

He stated that the reason for Nigeria’s woeful performance in the power and energy sector was due to its inability to tap into energy utilisation from the sun like other European countries.

According to him, the challenges affecting green bonds include low level of local participation in green bond verifiers, lack of investible projects, cost of verification and lack of understanding on the part of key investors.

“Green bond investors enjoy waivers relating to tax, and in the next 15 years, we will require $7 trillion in investments connecting sustainable finance to capital markets,” he said.