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Government raises green project issuances

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By Usman Oladimeji

₦60 billion is allotted to fund eco-friendly projects in 2024.

The Nigerian government has announced a plan to gradually increase annual green project issuances from 2024 to 2027, starting with a larger sum of ₦60 billion in 2024 to fund eco-friendly projects. This decision comes after the successful issuance of ₦25.69 billion in both the initial and subsequent Green Bond projects. Dr. Iziaq Salako, Minister of State for Environment made this known during the “2-Day Sovereign Green Bond Stakeholder Forum & Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change Meeting” which took place in Abuja. He stated that this yearly issuance increment would play a crucial role in promoting Nigeria’s low carbon emission aim.

In order for the third issuance to be successful, Dr. Salako emphasized the importance of stakeholders working together to prioritize the development of green budget items. He stressed the need for stakeholders to allocate and use resources efficiently for priority projects, particularly the Green Projects for Sovereign Green Bond Issuance. He thanked the Debt Management Office, Budget Office of the Federation, and the Office of the Accountant General for their contributions to the Program, as well as the World Bank for their financial support through the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project towards the Green Bond Program.

Green Bond issuance is a key aspect to combat climate change.

He also expressed gratitude towards President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his dedication to promoting sustainable economic growth and for his exceptional leadership, especially in the realm of creative financing amidst challenging global economic conditions. Additionally, he pointed out the government’s dedication to issuing Sovereign Green Bonds in order to raise internal funds for the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). To ensure the complete implementation of the Nigerian NDCs, it is crucial to mobilize $17.7 billion in financing annually from 2021 to 2030.

Dr. Salako said it is essential to consistently and effectively carry out the Green Bond program for environmentally friendly projects in the country. He highlighted that the program serves as a chance for the Government to initiate local efforts and attract assistance from development partners to reach its eco-friendly goals. Recognizing the significance of addressing Climate Change due to its wide-ranging economic and social impacts, he highlighted the importance of Green Bond issuance as a key aspect of our efforts to combat climate change. He called for mutual support and shared learning as the country moves forward in transitioning to a low-carbon economy leveraging Green Bonds procedure.

MDAs urged to identify green projects in need of Bond support.

During his talk, Mr. Alfred Okoh, representing the Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, emphasized the government’s dedication to funding the Green Bond initiative. He also highlighted the government’s promise to a more environmentally friendly future. The 2024 to 2026 medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper outline the government’s plans for financing the Green Project and provide insight into its medium-term goals, he said. As a result, this established the concept of a circular budget, providing Ministry Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with specific instructions and framework for compiling the budget for 2024.

According to Mr. Okoh, the purpose of the event is to bring together all MDAs to collaboratively tackle the current challenges in the Green Bond Program. On his part, Mr. Abdulhamid Umar, the National Project Coordinator of ACReSAL, said MDAs should identify green initiatives and projects in need of Bond support. He was thrilled about the World Bank’s decision to back this admirable initiative, urging that all the ministries and government agencies in attendance should promptly identify and prioritize the eco-friendly projects in need of funding.

Related Article: Is Nig.’s population too big to go green?

He urged the Ministry, through the Green Bond Secretariat, to prioritize the involvement of local governments in the Green Bond Program. He noted that several state Governors have expressed interest in supporting eco-friendly initiatives. Nigeria made history by being the first African country and the fourth worldwide to release a Sovereign Green Bond, which was also the first Sovereign Green Bond to be certified under the Climate Bonds Standard. By 2060, Nigeria aims to achieve a Net-Zero goal, outlining its vision for a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy with high growth and gender inclusivity. This commitment marks a significant step towards creating a circular economy in Nigeria.

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