NGX launches impact board for sustainable instruments

Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has unveiled its Impact Board, a dedicated platform for listing sustainability instruments, following approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This initiative was announced during a Closing Gong Ceremony in Lagos on Wednesday, honoring Mr. Balarabe Abbas Lawal, Minister of Environment, and commemorating the 8th Green Bond Advisory Group Meeting.

The ceremony, which saw Lawal, Co-Chair, Green Bond Advisory Group Meeting, engage with investors and stakeholders on the proposed federal government Green Bond issuance, brought together key figures in Nigeria’s financial and environmental sectors. Attendees included Dr. Emomotimi Agama, Director-General of the SEC, alongside delegates from the Debt Management Office, Ministry of Environment, issuers, and issuing houses.

This launch marks a pivotal moment in NGX’s steadfast commitment to integrating sustainability into the core of Nigeria’s capital market. By providing a high-visibility platform for sustainability instruments, NGX aims to usher in a new era of responsible investing, offering forward-thinking issuers access to purpose-driven capital.

Addressing the pressing environmental challenges facing the country, Lawal emphasized, “With issues like flooding, pollution, and deforestation, we urgently need funds to tackle them. This is why we are approaching the market.” His sentiment was echoed by Dr. Agama, who affirmed SEC’s support: “We are ready to bolster the sustainable finance market, aiming to deepen it with diverse instruments that contribute to Nigeria’s sustainable development.”

Group Chairman, Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group) highlighted NGX’s capabilities, Alhaji (Dr.) Umaru Kwairanga  stating, “We possess the capacity, resources, and technology to raise the funds required by the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Nigerian economy to achieve the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Chairman of NGX, Mr. Ahonsi Unuigbe underscored the significance of the Impact Board, noting its potential to encourage issuers like the Federal Government to leverage the market for financing strategic, sustainability-focused projects.

Further emphasizing the Group’s, Group Managing Director and CEO of NGX Group, Mr. Temi Popoola, stated, “We are dedicated to driving sustainability with the right frameworks, which is why giving visibility to this class of instruments is crucial for achieving our goals.”

CEO of NGX, Mr. Jude Chiemeka framed the launch as more than just a new platform, describing it as “a paradigm shift in how we approach finance and development.” This sentiment was reinforced by Mr. Abimbola Babalola, Head of Trading and Products at NGX, who highlighted the Board’s potential to foster capital-raising opportunities and create new tradeable products for investors.

The timing of the Impact Board’s launch, coinciding with the 8th Green Bond Advisory Group Meeting, underscores the growing momentum behind sustainable finance initiatives in Nigeria. This synergy between governmental environmental strategies and market-driven solutions promises to accelerate the country’s progress towards its sustainability goals.

As Nigeria steps into this new chapter of sustainable finance, the Impact Board stands poised to attract both domestic and international investment, driving growth and supporting the nation’s sustainable development agenda. This innovative platform not only represents NGX’s vision for the future but also sets a new standard for responsible investing in Africa’s largest economy, potentially serving as a model for other emerging markets.

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