By Simon Ugwu, As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges to businesses and economies world over, it is imperative that creative and proactive solutions are proffered to ensure the continued sustenance of key sectors of economies, and the Nigerian agribusiness sector is not left behind. It is therefore no surprise that the Implementation Partners of the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme (the Programme) – FMDQ Holdings PLC (FMDQ Group or FMDQ), Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa and Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) – are set to facilitate a stakeholder engagement session as part of the green financing capacity building efforts for market participants in the Nigerian financial market.
The webinar session, themed, “Green Financing Opportunities for Agribusiness” and scheduled to hold from 11:00 AM on Thursday, June 11, 2020, is targeted at current and potential issuers, as well as other stakeholders within the sustainable finance sphere in the Nigerian agribusiness sector, and will focus on expert discussions to demystify the concept green bonds and green financing, highlight opportunities in the agribusiness sector for these activities and provide updates on available funding to support such initiatives under the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme. Indeed, this webinar could not have come at a better time, given the renewed importance of sustained supply of food and agricultural produce to communities and families across the world.
FMDQ, FSD Africa and CBI formalised a Cooperation Agreement in March 2018 to develop the sub-national and non-sovereign green bond market in Nigeria. The Parties formally launched a 3-year Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme in June 2018 to support the development of guidelines and listing requirements for green bonds in Nigeria, develop a pool of Nigeria-based licensed verifiers to support issuers, facilitate engagement and capacity building sessions with extant and potential issuers and investors, and support broader capital market reforms that have and/or will have an impact on the nongovernment bond market in Nigeria. Since its launch, the Programme has seen the achievement of some key milestones, including but not limited to the development of the Green Bond Issuance Rules launched in November 2018; the issuance of Africa’s first Climate Bond Certified Corporate Green Bond – the Access Bank PLC ₦15.00 billion Green Bond in March 2019, amongst others. The Programme Implementation Partners have also successfully delivered knowledge bridging and capacity building training sessions across capital markets stakeholders, impacting over 450 beneficiaries so far.