The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, has said Nigeria is set to access a third tranche of the green bond programme of up to N25 billion to fund environmental projects.
This follows the country’s successful debut green bond issuance of N10.69 billion ($30 million) in December 2017, by which Nigeria became the first African country to issue a green bond, and N15 billion Series II Green Bond in 2019.
Green Bonds are any type of instrument where the proceeds are exclusively applied to finance or re-finance, in part or in full, new and/or existing eligible green projects that align with the four core components of the Green Bond Principles (GBP).
These eligible green projects can be classified under three themes within the green bond framework, namely: renewable energy, afforestation, and transportation.
Abubakar, who made this known yesterday, at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), said: “The first tranche of the green bond was about N10 billion, the second N15 billion, and the third we are looking at N25 billion. We are moving up in the launch.“We want to embark on more projects that are climate sensitive that will help in eliminating climate problems.”
According to him, the proceeds from the green bond will be used to finance power, afforestation, deforestation water, energy, agriculture among other projects.“We are moving to smart agriculture to produce more food with minimal impact on the environment.”
He added that the Series III Green Bond issuance will further demonstrate the government’s commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent unconditional, and 45 per cent conditional by 2030, as outlined under the Paris Agreement signed on 21 September 2016.
The Minister described the green bond and the issue of climate change as defining matters of the moment, adding that time is ripe for Nigeria to convert waste into wealth.
“Green project are what we need today because of the climate issues we are facing today. We need to change our environment through solid waste management, turning waste to wealth, waste to resources; these are all the things we need green bond to finance.
Stockbrokers described the issuance of green bond as an opportunity to boost Nigeria’s economic development.Specifically, the Managing Director APT Securities and Funds Limited, Garba Kurfi, said the issuancece of such bonds has enriched the nation’s bourse in terms of product diversity and market capitalisation.
According to Kurfi, green bonds present countries with an opportunity to demonstrate national leadership in the green financing agenda, adding that it would open new investors’ base and strengthen Nigeria’s commitment to complying with the Paris climate change agreement.
Kurfi, also said it would help in moderating climate change by investing in solar plants, hydropower, and agriculture given that 90 per cent of Nigeria’s export income comes from crude oil.
The second Sovereign Green Bond offered for N15 billion was auctioned in June 2019, by the Nigerian Government through the Debt Management Office (DMO).
During the exercise, the debt office offered N15 billion worth of the environment-friendly papers, but subscriptions valued at N32.93 billion, representing 220 per cent, were received from interested investors.
The number of subscribers had doubled compared with the first Sovereign Green Bond issued in December 2017. Retail investors were not left out, as the number of individuals who subscribed for the second Sovereign Green Bond more than doubled, which showed that financial inclusion and deepening the domestic financial market, among the key objectives of the government were being achieved.