SEC rolls out rules for Nigeria’s green bonds, sets clarity for issuance

Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has officially launched rules for the issuance of green bonds on the country’s stock exchange, a statement from the SEC has disclosed.

The development according to the statement sent to OGN, follows series of engagements with stakeholders and capital market operators.

It explained the SEC collaborated on several occasions with the Green Bonds Market Development Programme, a programme supported by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange (FMDQ) and the Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) to support the development of a non-sovereign green bond market in Nigeria.

According to it, the programme provides training for regulators, investors and intermediaries on green bonds as part of its efforts to create an enabling environment for issuers and other stakeholders, to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities that green bonds offer.

The statement quoted Ms. Mary Uduk, Acting Director-General of SEC to have stated at the launch of the rules, that: “As Nigeria strives to harness the resources of non-oil sectors to anchor the transition to a more resilient economy, there is the urgent need to close the country’s infrastructure gap with investments in sustainable finance initiatives.”

Uduk, further explained that: “The SEC’s release of the green bond rules is a significant step in furthering the complementary efforts of the government, regulators and the financial services industry to direct financial capital to more sustainable economic activity.”

Also commenting on the rules, the statement quoted Dr Evans Osano, Director of Financial Markets at FSD Africa to have said: “We laud SEC Nigeria for the professional and quick turnaround in the preparation of the guidelines.”

Osano, noted that: “The new guidelines are prepared in line with leading international guidelines and standards providing confidence to domestic and international investors. It also provides certainty to issuers of green bonds in Nigeria. FSD Africa is pleased to have supported this process which is a milestone for the Nigeria green bonds market.”

Also, Mr. Olumide Lala, Africa Markets Programme Manager of Climate Bonds Initiative who was at the launch was quoted in the statement to have stated: “The launch of the rules brings much needed clarity and guidance on the issuance of green bonds. Adopting the tenets of the green bond principles and climate bonds standard makes it easier to attract foreign investment where needed.”