By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau
In keeping with its leadership position in the country, Lagos State has become the first sub-national Government to activate the framework for the unlocking of the $1 trillion Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme to finance key infrastructure projects.
This is even as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with FMDQ Group and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa, which are the programme’s implementing partners on the proposed N25 billion (over $60 million) financing.
The historic event, held at the State House in Marina, came less than 24 hours after Lagos was upgraded to AAA(nga) rating from AA+(nga) by Fitch International for the State’s good standing on debt sustainability and resilience.
Sanwo-Olu said the Green Bond programme, being supported by the UK Agency for International Development (UK Aid), would raise the capacity of the State Government to deliver more key infrastructure and social projects that would keep Lagos on the path of prosperity.
Launched in 2018, the Green Bond Market Development Programme is to facilitate development of a green bond market to support broader debt capital markets reforms that will impact the sovereign and non-sovereign bond markets in the country.
The programme is to empower State Governments to champion sustainable finance for development.
Sanwo-Olu said the MoU was the crucial first step being taken by Lagos towards creating viable financing option for future green and sustainability projects. The funding opportunity, he said, will advance adoption of innovation and technologies to provide green jobs, thereby promoting economic and climate resiliency.
Special Adviser to the Governor on SDGs and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond, said the journey to get the framework approved started last year, disclosing that the MoU highlighted key projects to be delivered by the State Government to actualise economic sustainability.
Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, said Lagos had 20 years experience in raising bonds, assuring implementing partners and capital market operators of the State’s commitment to the terms highlighted in the framework.