In its determined efforts to green the economy, the federal government has identified climate friendly projects worth N52 billion that would be financed through the Green bonds.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Dr Bukar Hassan stated this in Abuja yesterday at the meeting of Permanent Secretaries on Green Bonds, organised by the Ministry of Environment.
Green bond is an innovative and alternative source of funding projects in Nigeria that would reduce emissions and provide robust climate infrastructure like renewable energy, low carbon transport, water infrastructure and sustainable agriculture for achieving Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) in line with the Paris Agreement.
He noted that the essence of the meeting was to unveil Nigeria’s plan to issue the first sovereign green bond by March this year even as he expressed optimism that the meeting would support economic growth and recovery plan for this nation.
In his presentation, the Adviser Climate finance, Ministry of Environment, Mr Obi Ugochukwu maintained that the pilot project would kick-start by March in three ministries of Power, FCT and Environment adding that about 214, 000 jobs would be created through the pilot project.
He said that the project under environment would cover afforestation programme that would lead to more tree planting in selected states.
Ugochuku affirmed that the green bond would also finance alternative source of energy in 37 universities and 7 teaching hospitals while 20,000 solar units would be distributed nationwide.
Also speaking, the director of Climate change in the Ministry, Dr Peter Tarfa confirmed that the increased change in the climate was due to increased human activities adding that the projects must have low carbon emission.
According to him, “In trying to reduce the impact of climate change, we have committed to mitigating climate change 20 percent conditionally on our effort and 45 percent unconditionally with the help of external support”.
Tarfa who was represented by the Deputy Director, Mrs Halima Bawa-Bwari maintained that the ministry of finance has committed N20bn for the take-off of the issuance of first green bond noting that the second phase would take place later in the year.
On her part, the Technical Special Assistant to the Minister of Environment, Mrs Hadiza Elayo emphasized that Nigeria would be the first country in Africa to issue green body saying that the ministry of budget and planning is critical to the bonds.
While stating that ministry of budget and planning would help in tracking budget codification and ensure timely release of funds, she emphasised that all the identified projects have been captured in 2017 budget and borrowing plans.
She affirmed that the Environment ministry is working with relevant partners like UNEP, World Bank, Department of International Development (DFID) and financial institutions like Nigeria Stock Exchange, Stanbic IBTC, Citi bank, Capital assets to facilitate the projects.