The Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria (SEC) officially launched the Green Bonds Issuance Rules at a ceremony yesterday. Following a series of engagements with stakeholders and Capital Market Operators, the SEC rolled out its rules on Green Bonds on October 12, 2018.
The SEC has collaborated on several occasions with the Green Bonds Market Development Programme, a programme supported by the Climate Bonds Initiative(CBI), the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange (“FMDQ”) and the Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) to support the development of a Non-Sovereign Green Bond market in Nigeria. The programme provides training for regulators, investors and intermediaries on Green Bonds as part of its efforts to create an enabling environment for issuers and other stakeholders, to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities that Green Bonds offer.
Speaking at the launch of the rules, Ms. Mary Uduk, Ag. Director-General, SEC stated that “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”.
Also commenting on the rules, Dr Evans Osano, Director of Financial Markets atFSD Africa commented that “We laud SEC Nigeria for the professional and quick turnaround in the preparation of the guidelines. The new guidelines are prepared in line with leading international guidelines and standards providing confidence to domestic and international investors. It also provides certainty to issuers of green bonds in Nigeria. FSD Africa is pleased to have supported this process which is a milestone for the Nigeria green bonds market”
Mr. Olumide Lala, Africa Markets Programme Manager, Climate Bonds Initiative who was also present at the launch ceremony stated that “The launch of the rules brings much needed clarity and guidance on the issuance of green bonds. Adopting the tenets of the Green Bond Principles and Climate Bonds Standard makes it easier to attract foreign investment where needed.”