The acting President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday said proposed N20 billion Green Bond to be issued by the federal government would provide an opportunity to further deepen the nation’s capital market and tackle poverty.
Green bonds enable capital-raising and investment for new and existing projects with environmental benefits. The federal government is to raise N20 billion via the issuance of Green Bond initiative.
Speaking at the Green Bonds Capital Market & Investors Conference organised by the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office (DMO) at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos, Osinbajo said the bond would support the federal government’s shift to non-oil base assets for project financing for economic growth and development.
According to him, the proceeds of the bond would be used for environmental projects such as renewable energy micro-utilities in three communities estimated at N10 billion and would provide an average of 33KW of power through solar technology.
He noted that the environment finance was very important for environmental projects, noting that the Green bond would address climate change and environmental projects to ensure sustainable development.
He explained that under the Green Bonds initiative, the federal government would raise the sum of N20 billion under the first tranche before the end of the first quarter of 2017.
Osinbajo, who described the initiative as a new addition to the market funding portfolio, added that the proceeds would be used by Nigeria to fight climate change.
He said that climate change had led to increase in natural disasters thereby affecting food, water and energy supply, thereby increasing poverty level of populace.
Osinbajo said that power had poised a major challenge in the nation’s universities, stating that 37 Federal universities and seven teaching hospitals would benefit from the Energizing Education Programme (EEP).
According to him, the EEP project estimated to cost $213 million would provide a 119 mega watts of power in 37 universities using off grid solar technology.
He therefore urged Nigerians embrace the bond initiative, the first in Africa, to benefit from its higher yields.
Osinbajo commended the ministries of Finance and Environment for the foresight in putting the bonds together, expressing the optimism that the initiative would attract more private sector to the capital market.