Delay in the passage of the 2017 budget is stalling the floating of Nigeria’s Sovereign Green Bond, which was to be floated early this month.
Out gone minister of environment, Amina Mohammed, had on her last day at the Federal Executive Council meeting said issuance of the first $20 billion out of the $100 billion would commence at the beginning of the second quarter of the year, and specifically at the beginning of April.
However, the minister of state for environment, Ibrahim Jibrin, while briefing journalists after the weekly FEC meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said though processes were in top gear the issuance would wait till the 2017 appropriation was passed.
While consultations to fine-tune the technical details of the bond are still ongoing, the Central Bank of Nigeria has already opened an account domiciled in the apex bank for the bond.
The green bond, the first of its kind in Nigeria, will be the first sovereign issuance from an African nation. Officials say it will be used to fund a range of climate-related initiatives including mass transit, land re-afforestation, remediation and solar projects.
“We said it is a sovereign green bond and that means it has to go through the national budget. We are working in active collaboration with the federal ministry of finance as well as the debt management office. A meeting is currently ongoing at the DMO in respect of the process.
“We have gotten Central Bank to open an account with the proceeds, but since it is sovereign the National Assembly will have to pass the budget first before we can do the launch and that is what is holding us,” Jibrin said.
He also explained that three pipeline projects would benefit from the green bond once established. The projects, which include the financing of renewal energy and afforestation, will also see to the reduction of carbon emissions through the provision of extra transportation for citizens.
“The issuance of the green bond will go a long way in assist the financing of the green budget such as renewable energy such as solar power and we looking at collaboration with the minister of power and housing.
“The second pipeline project has the minister of the FCT on board because we want to use the FCT as a laboratory and to have transport as part of our contribution to reducing emissions.
“We are thinking of about 100 buses that will be financed if and when the bond is launched and they will work in the FCT and we are thinking of the Kubwa Abuja corridor to assist in ferrying our passengers. In that way if we have vehicles that can carry up to 50 passengers at a time that means we can remove between 5 to 40 vehicles from the road and that will go a long way to reduce emission and mitigating climate change,” he said.
Council also received an update on the handling of the Meningitis Type C outbreak in various parts of the country.
According to the minister of state for health who briefed alongside the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed and the minister of state for environment, the government is expecting 823,000 vaccines from the UK approved by the World Health Organisation.
“By this weekend, we are expecting 823,000 vaccines from the UK, approved by the World Health Organisation, a special kind of vaccine called the conjugate vaccine which has a longer protection of about 10 years.
“As of now there have been 4637 suspected cases of which we have had 489 fatalities and of these 207 have been confirmed in laboratory tests. The vaccination team will move to Sokoto in the next few days and start using the vaccines to control the situation over there,” he said.
Council also approved the ratification of the Universal Convention on the control of Mercury the country assented to in 2013. With the ratification Nigeria is now part of 50 countries who have ratified the protocol and the 18th in Africa.