Access Bank Plc has reiterated the investment opportunities in the Green Bond market, and the need for Nigerians to key into such opportunities.
Speaking at a roundtable on Nigerian Green Bond Market Development programme at the Access Bank head office in Lagos, the bank’s Executive Director, Risk Management, Greg Jobome, stressed the need for Nigerians to be carried along in the market to ensure a sustainable future of the country.
He said: “It is a lead that we have taken for many years. If you recall, at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) award for sustainability, we cleared all the four awards within the banking space. So, it is no surprise. However, we will continue to add value, sustainable products, funding, and financing asset that will impact positively on the environment, clients, and on Nigeria while still making money and giving good returns to our shareholders.”
According to him, it would be very helpful “if we involve the man on the street and they understand what the green bond is about, but if the government keeps it for experts, treasurers, dealers, analyst, they will miss it. We have to make it all encompassing because it is about sustainable development goals, it is about our children and the kind of world they will live in’’.
“The little steps we are taking now will hopefully lay the foundation blocks for our world,” he said.
Jobome, who spoke on a panel during the roundtable on “Why issue green bonds-opportunities and challenges”, noted that with only 0.2 percent of the global bond market taken up by green bonds, “we are not so far behind a d we have the opportunity than the rest of the world. The potential is bigger for Nigeria and Africa, so if we do it right, we will actually dominate the statistics.”
He noted that there are huge projects that would directly impact the masses that the government can undertake with the proceeds of a green bond saying “there are a lot of things that t we can do now that rest of the world, particularly the developed countries cannot do’’.
The corporate green bond programme is an initiative that was put forward through a combined partnership between FMDQ OTC Securities, Climate Bond initiative (CBI) and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) to develop green bonds in Nigeria.
Last March, the trio signed a cooperation agreement to develop green bonds in Nigeria and foster the issuance of corporate/non-sovereign green bonds, and as part of efforts to understand the market the corporate green bond programme was launched on Thursday.
Director of Market Development for CBI, Justine Leigh-Bell, said the firm has partnered FMDQ because they are market organisers and infrastructure catalyst that have the local expertise to rally around all participants in the debt capital market.
She noted that over the last three months, they had been engaging the government and regulatory bodies, such as the PenCom, Securities and Exchange Commission, CBN, and Development Bank of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Environment, Federal Ministry of Finance, which have been successful.
Last December, the Federal Government through the DMO raised as much as N10.69 billion, making Africa’s biggest oil producer to become the first on the continent and fourth in the world after Poland, France and Fiji to issue a security that raises funds for environmental projects.
Source: The Nation