By Goddy Egene
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has called for the active utilisation of green bonds to finance the Nigeria’s infrastructure gap.
Acting Director-General, SEC, Ms Mary Uduk, who stated this at the 2018 annual workshop organised by the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) in Lagos, disclosed that the country’s infrastructure deficit would hit $878 billion dollars by 2040.
According to her, the country should tap into green bond opportunities, saying SEC would continue to promote an active enabling and regulative environment for the issuance of green bonds.
Uduk, who spoke through Head, Registration and Market Infrastructure Department, SEC, Mr Emomotimi Agama, said: “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.”
She 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 and eliminating environmental degradation.
“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 while also protecting the environment. – a multi-faceted strategy,” she said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, Mr Bola Onadele.Koko, said $155 billion dollars had been realised from the green bonds issuance, thereby gaining attention of investors.
Onadele, who was represented by Senior Vice President, Economic Development Division,FMDQ OTC, Mr. Emmanuel Etaderhi, said that the country’s resources was not growing in tandem with the rising population. He said that the reason for Nigeria’s woeful performance in the power and energy sector was down to its inability 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.
He noted that the FMDQ had set a sustainable finance committee to engage private and public and will engage in training with partnership with FSD Africa and Climate Bond Initiative (CBI).
In his comments, a climate finance expert and advisor, Dr Jubril Adeojo, said that green bonds were made for Africa and with the deficits seen in major sectors of the economy. Adeojo stated that green bonds opportunities were enormous, explaining that the Nigeria would focus more on renewable energy, hybrids to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.