As a country with abundant natural and human resources, Nigeria has been identified as well-positioned to embrace sustainable finance principles and attract investment to support the much-needed growth in Africa.
Director General (DG) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda, while addressing participants at a lecture to mark the commemoration of the IOSCO World Investor Week (WIW) with the theme: Investor Resilience and Sustainable Finance at the weekend, said it is in recognition of the importance of sustainable finance that the commission introduced rules on green bonds in 2018 and social bonds in 2021.
Already three approvals have been granted to some corporate issuers in respect of the initiative.
Yuguda, who was represented by the SEC’s Executive Commissioner Operations, Dayo Obisan, pointed out that the commission, as an apex regulator, is very much aware of its critical role in ensuring that the financial sector is steered towards green investments through its policies and regulations.
The SEC boss said sustainable finance has evolved as a global concept, stressing the need to promote the transition to a low-carbon, more resource-efficient economy towards building a financial system that incentivises sustainable growth across nations.
“World over, issuers and investors are embracing the idea of sustainable investing and environment-friendly projects, hence the significant surge in sustainable investment within the last few years, which is apparently driven mainly by investors’ desire for a cleaner, healthier and more equitable future.”
Yuguda stated that the theme for this year’s WIW, ‘Investor Resilience’ and ‘Sustainable Finance’ demonstrates the high-value IOSCO places on investor protection and the environment, especially in the context of the global pandemic and other challenges such as inflationary pressures, uncertainties occasioned by geopolitical tensions, and continued environmental degradation.
He added that the themes undoubtedly place emphasis on the universal call for sustainable finance and its resultant economic growth and development.
According to him, there is no doubt therefore that all jurisdictions must think of transiting from exploiting nature to restoring nature.
In his remarks, Director Market Development Department, Nestor Ikeagu said the IOSCO WIW is an annual global week-long event which aims at promoting investor education and protection as well as strengthening collaborations among members in their various jurisdictions.