• FEC approves revised National Policy on Environment
Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The federal government is finalising arrangements to issue the nation’s first green bond in the first quarter of this year.
The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, stated this while answering questions from State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Green bonds enable capital-raising and investment for new and existing projects with environmental benefits.
The Sovereign Green Bonds project is part of a strategic process by the federal government to add to the nation’s funding options to stimulate the rebound of the economy and offer the vast majority of Nigerians a new alternative.
Mohammed said the bonds had attracted much interest with people bringing their technical supports.
According to her, with the arrangements in place, international green bonds may be issued by the end of the year.
She said: “The green bond is very much on track for issuance in the first quarter of this year. We have had so much interest and people are actually bringing in technical support.
“This is the sovereign green bond and I think that is very important to note because what we want to do again is taking the NDCs and bringing it to life.
“It is not just a document we signed. It is taking projects out of there that will rely on resources coming from the country.
“To do that first we have to make sure it has integrity but by the end of the year, we can talk about issuing green bonds that are international.
“We already had indications from the stock exchange in the UK, China, who issue most of the green bonds in the world today over 400billion, they will be happy to come in our direction and do so.
“This is finding additional funding and focusing on better on looking at low emission projects and so it is important to see the Ministry of Power involved, Agriculture, FCT coming up with the transportation programme and the environment coming up with something on deforestation.
“So look out for the green bonds, by the beginning of April we should have it.”
Also yesterday, the council approved a Revised National Policy on Environment just as it held a valedictory service for the Minister of Environment, Amina Muhammed, who is leaving the cabinet for the position of the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General.
Muhammed said the policy looked at “all the different inter-sectoral issues that we have whether it is with water, health, power or agriculture and bring them in to have a multi-sectoral response.”
The minister noted that the policy was first formulated in 1991 and last revised in 1999.
She said: “It has become imperative that we’ve this new policy framework because what we really wanted to do is to capture some of the emerging issues that have come since then as regards environment.
“These concerns such as climate change, coastal erosion, desertification, erosion, pollution and insecurity which have been exacerbated by the struggles for environment resources, we see this in country at all levels.”
Mohammed said the new policy framework put in place a much better opportunity to engage with states, local governments and communities and executing the priorities of the change agenda.”
She also spoke on the dumping of waste in Delta State saying that government had last Tuesday sent a team to the place.
The outgoing minister said the team had secured the site to ensure no more waste was dumped there.
The former minister said government would investigate how the waste was dumped there and by who to ensure that it did not happen again.
Asked what the country stood to benefit from her appointment as Deputy Secretary General of the UN, she said the country would be able to benefit from some of the UN resolutions which the country had signed.
Mohammed said her being at UN would give Nigeria an edge at getting solutions to some of the challenges the country faced.
She said that in the next two weeks or so, the UN Security Council would be visiting Nigeria.
Adding that, “When it does, we will be showing the officials exactly what the president has been highlighting and the nexus between poverty, conflict and climate change. They will visit the north east and they will see some of the root causes of our young people being dragged to a life of terrorism.”
She said the UN has institutions that would help in tackling the problems of malnutrition on children, maternal health and other health challenges the country was grappling with.