By Nse Anthony-Uko
(Sundiata Post) – The Debt Management Office (DMO) has kicked off a sensitisation roadshow in Abuja as part of preparations towards the issuance of the first Sovereign Green Bond.
The Green Bond is being issued following Nigeria’s endorsement of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on September 21, 2016.
The Paris Agreement aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of Climate Change, since the signing of the Agreement, various countries who are parties to the Agreement have initiated several steps aimed at making the environment better.
Speaking at the event held at the Sheraton Hotels Abuja on Thursday, Patience Oniha Director General of the DMO, said the roadshow, which will continue in Lagos on Friday is to sensitise prospective investors in the Green Bond.
She explained that the essence of the roadshow is to ensure that the people or organisations who will invest in the Green Bond have some understanding of what the project is about.
Oniha noted that the government will use the Green Bond proceeds to finance projects in the 2017 Appropriation Act that have been certified as Green because of their positive effects on the environment.
According to her amongst the projects to be financed with the proceeds of the Green Bond Issuance are the Renewable Energy Micro Utilities and Afforestation Programmes.
The DMO boss further revealed that the Offer for the Green Bond is N10.69 billion, adding that the Bond will be issued from Monday, December 18, 2017.
Also speaking, Hajiya Halima Abubakar, a representative of the Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Finance, explained that Nigeria is prone to coastal environmental hazards which was part of reasons President Buhari signed the Paris Agreement for a global response to environmental challenges facing the nation.
Abubakar said the Green Bond project have 5 priority areas that requires funding. She listed the areas as Agriculture Forestry and Land Use, Industry, Oil and Gas, Power and Transportation.
Meanwhile, responding to a question asked by Mr Bankole Ganiyu from Trust Fund Pensions, on the servicing of the Green Bonds, the DMO boss said the Bond will be serviced from the 2017 Budget.
With the Green Bond Issuance, Nigeria will become one of the few countries in the world and indeed the first African country to issue a Green Bond.Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a GB1 (Excellent) Green Bond Assessment to the Issuance.
The DMO is working with the Federal Ministry of Environment towards the Issuance while Chapel Hill Denham is the Financial Advisers to the Transaction.