By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
The Lagos State government is planning to float a N25 billion green bond programme to be listed on the FMDQ Securities Exchange.
On Tuesday, the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the FMDQ Group and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa for the proposed transaction, which is aimed at financing sustainable projects in the metropolis.
The signing of the deal is coming after the state was upgraded to AAA (nga) rating from AA+ (nga) by Fitch International for its good standing on debt sustainability and resilience.
According to Mr Sanwo-Olu, the green bond programme is targeted at raising the capacity of the state government to deliver more key infrastructure and social projects that would keep Lagos on the path of prosperity.
Being supported by the UK Agency for International Development (UK Aid), the signing of the MoU signifies Lagos State as the first sub-national government to tap into the framework for the unlocking of the $1 trillion Nigerian green bond market development programme.
This programme was launched in 2018 to facilitate the development of a green bond market that will impact the sovereign and non-sovereign bond markets in the country.
Speaking on Tuesday at the State House in Marina, where the agreement was sealed, Mr Sanwo-Olu said, “As a government, we are committed to utilising our limited resources more efficiently to create a circular economy, which is a promising and viable alternative.
“Public spending and investments may not be enough to deliver our key objectives; therefore, the need to tap into more private investments for the transition to a zero-waste and circular economy, as well as achieving crucial items of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
He said that the green investment will activate deeply sustainable funds for infrastructure and social development for the country’s economic hub, Lagos, adding that the green finance network will further pull investors into the market.
In his contribution, the Chief Executive Officer of FMDQ Group, Mr Bola Onadele, while expressing excitement over the financial move, said that there it signals the readiness of partners to support the state in unlocking the capital to fund key projects.
“I have no doubt that the implementation of this MoU and the impact thereof will ensure that Lagos continues to set itself apart, support its developmental aspirations and highlight its sustainability efforts at the global green and sustainable financial ecosystem.
“We are excited about this opportunity to support the developmental aspirations of Lagos,” Mr Onadele said.
The event was witnessed by the CEO of FSD Africa, Mr Mark Napier; the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Rabiu Olowo; all parties under the supervision of the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyo Onigbanjo, and the British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Ben Llewelly-Jones.