Saturday, October 05, 2019 / 08.00PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: Proshare WebTV
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday October 4th, 2019 formally launched the Financial Centre for Sustainability at the FMDQ Securities Exchange Headquarters in Lagos.
This was the actualization of the challenge posed to the FMDQ Exchange by the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, to form the FC4S, which will provide an advocacy platform that will support policy makers in the pursuit to mobilize impact investments and deepen the space for green financial instruments.
The Governor in his remarks said the establishment of the Centre will contribute significantly to the state's push to attract sustainable private capital, that will improve climate change mitigation.
He lauded the FMDQ and UNEP for championing this innovative private-led solution to addressing sustainable financing in Nigeria.
According to him Lagos was the first Sub-National to issue a Green Bond in the country and remains focused on leading the cause for sustainable economic development.
Speaking further Governor Sanwo-Olu said in the strategy of his administration "THEME" that was recently launched the "H" stands for Health and the "E", Environment, which the government has given top priority.
"With an exploding population and limited land mass, resulting in a large amount of domestic, industrial and commercial waste, Lagos needs to tap into private capital to drive sustainable development" Sanwo-Olu said.
The Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange of Commission (SEC) Ms. Mary Uduk speaking at the event said the Apex regulator is a strong advocate for the promotion of infrastructure development, through sustainable financing.
She believed that the huge budget deficit and infrastructural gap in the country can be financed by harnessing resources available from sustainability finance, investors and interest groups across the globe.
"It is my expectation that the launch of the Financial Centre for Sustainability, will serve as a rallying point for further discussion and engagements, in ways of taking advantage of the enormous resources in the area of sustainable financing to address the infrastructural gap in the country" She said.
The Acting DG of SEC Nigeria was of the strong view that the FC4S will help to deepen the product offerings in the capital marker and create greater prosperity for investors and the people.
Dr Doyin Salami the Vice-Chairman of the Governance Board of the Financial Centre for Sustainability, giving insight into the Centre stressed that it is re-emphasizing the Environment and Social Governance, ESG, components of financial institutions.
At a broader level, Dr. Salami, said Sustainable Financing was focused on targeting long-term environmental issues especially around sustainable employment, technology and innovation.
Elaborating further the economist said that the direction of the financial institutions and investment vehicles should be giving top priority to projects that have the Sustainability provisions.
Salami said Africa has huge opportunities for sustainable projects that require massive financing and capital, from smart housing, education, healthcare, transportation etc.
"Africa requires $783bn to achieve its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is three quarters of a trillion dollars, while Nigeria requires $92bn to achieve it" Salami said.
Dr Salami who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Economic Advisory Committee noted that one key area that sustainable investments must address in Nigeria, is job creation which is vital to achieving inclusive economic growth.
The MD/CEO of the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange Mr. Bola Onadele in his welcome address said the Financial Centre for Sustainability offered a market-side approach to developing a financing model for Nigeria's sustainable development.
Onadele informed stakeholders that by serving as the secretariat for the FC4S, the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange asserts its position as a leading market in sustainability issues.
The FC4S Lagos has joined the International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S Network) as the 23rd member.
FC4S Network was launched in Casablanca, Morocco, in September 2017, at a meeting co-hosted by the Casablanca Finance City Authority and the UNEP, in association with Italy's Ministry of the Environment and Morocco's presidency of the COP22 (Conference of Parties 22) climate conference. At this meeting, financial centres adopted the Casablanca Statement on Financial Centres for Sustainability.