As part of the efforts of the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme (the Programme) to continuously build capacity of potential issuers in the Nigerian debt capital markets across diverse sectors, FMDQ Group (“FMDQ” or “FMDQ Holdings PLC”), Climate Bonds Initiative (“CBI”) and Financial Sector Deepening Africa (“FSDA”) executed a Webinar targeted at potential issuers in the Nigerian agriculture sector.
The session, themed “Green Financing Opportunities for Agribusiness” held on Thursday, June 11, 2020, covered an Introduction to Green Bonds, the Green Bond Certification Process, How to Develop a Green Bond Framework, the Climate Bond Taxonomy for Agriculture Sector Criteria and Reporting Requirements under the Green Bond Framework.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Bola Onadele. Koko, the Chief Executive Officer, FMDQ, provided an overview of the Programme’s activities over the last two (2) years. He highlighted that amongst other activities executed, the Programme supported the development of the Green Bond Issuance Rules by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to enforce transparency and disclosure which has directly boosted integrity and accountability in the Nigerian bond market and has seen the issuance of Africa’s 1st Climate Bonds Certified Corporate Green Bond by Access Bank PLC in March 2019. Outlining key statistics of the Nigerian agriculture sector, Mr. Onadele. Koko emphasised that the sector plays a critical role in the Nigerian economy and there is the need to explore untapped opportunities given its impact on employment and linkage with other sectors of the economy.
Ms. Leigh-Bell, the Deputy Chief Executive & Director, Market Development, CBI, delivered a technical presentation on Green Bonds: An Opportunity for Agribusiness. The presentation covered the concept of green bonds, benefits of green labelling of issuers, the rules for labelling green bonds, the Green Bond Framework, Climate Bonds Taxonomy, and guidance for the agriculture sector.
Mr. Victor Nkiiri, the Senior Financial Markets Specialist, FSDA highlighted the rationale for developed capital markets in Africa. Explaining the need to develop the local currency bond market in Africa, Mr. Nkiiri reiterated that the inability for a country to borrow in its own currency is an “original sin”. Mr. Nkiiri, in his presentation, outlined the benefits of green bonds to both the investors and the issuers in the bond market and issues affecting the development of green bond markets including risks of greenwashing, costs to issuers, lack of awareness among stakeholders, additional disclosure
requirements, reporting, amongst others.
A key highlight of the event was a Presentation by Dr. Gregory Jobome, the Executive Director, Risk Management, Access Bank PLC on the Green Bond Issuance Journey of the issuance of the pioneer Climate Bonds Certified Corporate Green Bond in Africa by Access Bank PLC. His presentation covered the reason the bank issued its maiden green bond, the benefits of green bonds issuance as well as the challenges faced, and lessons learnt.
Also, during the session, Mr. Emmanuel Etaderhi, the Executive Secretary, Financial Centre for Sustainability, Lagos(FC4S Lagos), gave a brief overview of FC4S Lagos and its strategic role in assisting firms in the Nigerian agriculture sector to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change risks.
Bringing the session to an end, Mrs. Adaze Uzor-Kalu, Divisional Head, External Relations at FMDQ Group reinforced the primacy of agriculture in the economic landscape; noting the timely delivery of the capacity building webinar, given the renewed importance of food supply and agricultural produce to families, communities and manufacturing companies across the world. Mrs. Adaze Uzor-Kalu concluded that the unique selling point for green bonds are the use of proceeds, transparency, accountability, and environmental sustainability that it brings to the bonds market as against plain
The session was attended by one hundred and seventy-four (174) participants with about ninety-nine (99) institutions represented across thirteen (13) countries namely Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and United kingdom. The session also streamed concurrently on the FMDQ YouTube Channel currently has over eighty-eight (88) views (live views and recorded views).