The Green Bonds Issuance Rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which were formulated in October after a series of collaborations with stakeholders in the capital market, were finally unveiled yesterday in Abuja during a small ceremony.
A press statement issued by the capital market regulator said some of the stakeholders SEC collaborated with include the Green Bonds Market Development Programme, the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, and the Financial Sector Deepening Africa.
The essence of these collaborations was to “create an enabling environment for issuers and other stakeholders to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities that Green Bonds offer”, the statement reads in parts.
Meanwhile, the Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Mary Uduk, spoke during the launch event. According to her, the rules are coming at the right time when stakeholders are trying to direct investment to more sustainable economic activities.
“As Nigeria strives to harness the resources of non-oil sectors to anchor the transition to a more resilient economy, there is the urgent need to close the country’s infrastructure gap with investments in sustainable finance initiatives. The SEC’s release of the green bond rules is a significant step in furthering the complementary efforts of the government, regulators and the financial services industry to direct financial capital to more sustainable economic activity.” – Uduk
Also speaking during the launch event was Dr Evans Osano, who is the Director of Financial Markets at FSD Africa. He commended the Securities and Exchange Commission for “the professional and quick turnaround in the preparation of the guidelines”, and said the rules are in tandem with international standards.
According to him, it will provide confidence to domestic and foreign investors alike, as well as give assurance to Nigerian Green Bonds issuers.
Meanwhile, the Africa Markets Programme Manager at Climate Bonds Initiative, Mr Olumide Lala, also noted that the newly-launched rules will give the much-needed clarity and guidance on the issuance of Green Bonds.
Green Bonds are specifically earmarked to be used for climate and environmental projects. These kinds of bonds are asset-linked and backed by the issuers’ balance sheet.