- Experts Want More Products in Capital Market
Financial experts have highlighted the need to increase the products in the capital market, saying the market lacks sufficient asset classes for people to invest in.
The experts, who comprised policy makers, project developers and bank executives, spoke at the maiden Climate Finance Accelerator Workshop in Lagos on the need to collaborate on the financing of individual projects that would help deliver the Nigerian Nationally Determined Contributions.
According to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the workshop is aimed at accelerating the transformation of the NDCs into climate investment plans supported by pipelines of bankable projects needed to attract investment at scale from the private sector.
A consultant at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Columbia, Lina Peñuela, said, “Gathering the private sector, the financiers and the policy makers around common goals and climate change projects is a huge challenge.
“This is why initiatives such as the CFA are so relevant as our countries face ambitious climate change targets.”
The Africa Programme Manager, Climate Bonds Initiative, Olumide Lala, stated that there was a need to focus on investments in green bonds.
He said investor demand was driving the growth of green bonds in the country.
According to him, green bonds can be used as a tool to shift debt capital markets to climate solutions.
Lala said, “When you think about the pension fund and the rate at which it is growing, soon we are going to run out of assets to invest in if we do not create more sustainable assets.
“We cannot just keep going to Treasury bills; otherwise, sooner or later we will run into a problem.”
Lala noted that climate change had been an issue that required urgent attention.
He said if climate change continued the way it was going in Nigeria and with the population, there might be a problem soon.
He stated that the difference between green bonds and other asset classes was the projects the proceeds were invested in, adding that green bonds were geared towards environmental cause.
“We have moved from government bonds to sovereign bonds, and now, we are moving into corporate bonds. Government alone cannot solve this problem; it is important for the private sector to get involved,” Lala added.
He said, “The corporate bond market is not thriving as much as others because there is a lot of confidence lacking in that space. However, the structure is there to give the right confidence to the financiers, both local and foreign.”
The Divisional Head, Shared Services, NSE, Mr Bola Adeeko, said the workshop was coming at a time when the global economy was increasingly becoming more climate-aware.
He stated that more corporates within the domestic economy were seeking sustainable financing, adding that one of the benefits of the CFA initiative was that it would attract large-scale investments to the market.
The Chairman of the Climate Finance Accelerator Workshop, Mr Kyari Bukar, who is also the former chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, said the NESG would continue to drive the advocacy for green finance as a catalyst to sustainable development in the country.
The workshop is scheduled to close today (January 26) with a special session at the Securities and Exchange Commission Zonal Office in Lagos, where the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, is billed to speak as the special guest of honour.
Zenith Bank Gets Recognition for Best Corporate Governance
Zenith Bank Plc’s strong business ethos, ethical values, and impeccable corporate governance have been rewarded with ‘Best Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa 2021 award by the Ethical Boardroom.
The bank, in a statement yesterday, said the award, published in the June 2021 edition of The Ethical Boardroom magazine, recognised the bank’s adherence to global best practices and institutionalisation of corporate governance as well as setting an industry-wide example of best practices in that field.
Commenting on the award, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, said: “This recognition is a testament to our commitment to quality, accountability, fairness and transparency in our engagement with all stakeholders.
“It is also an affirmation of the bank’s professionalism, ethical conduct and sustenance of global best practices and standards which is attributable to the joint collaboration of the management and staff.”
The award comes on the heels of others and recognitions that the bank has garnered in recent times for its track record of excellent performance and commitment to global best practices.
For instance, Zenith Bank was voted as Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020; Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020 and 2021, and Best Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa 2020 by the Ethical Boardroom.
Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, and Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2020 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking by The Banker Magazine.
Similarly, the bank was recognised as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the THISDAY Awards 2020, Retail Bank of the year at the 2020 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards, and Best Company in Promotion of Good Health and Well-Being as well as Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment at the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2020.
Zenith Bank has been generally adjudged a corporate governance compliant bank by the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) hence its listing on the Premium Board of the Exchange.
The bank continues to sustain this reputation and reappraise its processes to ensure that its business conforms to the highest global standards at all times.
The bank places a premium on its core business strategy anchored on people, technology and service, to create value for its numerous clientele.
“With a team of dedicated professionals, the bank leverages its robust Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to provide cutting-edge solutions and products through its network of branches and electronic/digital channels,” the statement added.
Egypt: African Development Bank Approves Loan of €83 Million for Egypt’s Electricity Sector to Spur Economic Recovery from Covid-19
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank have approved an €83 million loan to finance the second phase of Egypt’s Electricity and Green Growth Support Program. The funding is part of the Bank’s budget support to the Egyptian government to strengthen its electricity infrastructure, which is expected to bolster the private sector and accelerate recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.
The program seeks to enhance the power sector’s financial sustainability, governance and operations. It will also advance the provision of clean, reliable energy to drive green growth. Egypt’s successful reforms in the sector have led to greater private investment in utility-scale renewable energy projects.
“Egypt’s Vision 2030 instills the sustainability ethos across all sectors. Energy and electricity are amongst the top sectors in Egypt’s International Development Cooperation’s portfolio, pushing towards a green reform,” said Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al Mashat. “With 2021 being the year of private sector engagement, the Electricity and Green Growth Support Program will contribute towards sustainable growth and job creation and catalyze the development of Egyptian private entities,” she added.
Malinne Blomberg, the Bank’s Deputy Director General for the North Africa Region, said the African Development Bank continues to actively engage with the Egyptian government and private sector companies to support the country’s medium-term development plan and economic reforms, with a particular focus on economic infrastructure such as energy, transport, water and sanitation, as well as industrialization.
In addition to the African Development Bank, Agence Française de Développement and the Japan International Cooperation Agency have also provided financial support to Egypt’s Electricity and Green Growth Support Program.
Zambia: African Development Bank Approves $1.4 Million Grant to Improve Household Food Security in the Wake of Covid-19
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a $1.4 million grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program to reduce malnutrition among the Southern African nation’s most vulnerable households.
The Mitigating Impacts of Covid-19 on Household Food Security Project will create about 150 permanent skilled or semi-skilled positions and 40 part-time unskilled jobs in crop, livestock and fisheries value chains. The project will supply inputs for crops, livestock and aquaculture enterprises to promote good agricultural practices and increase food production. There will also be a capacity building component.
“The agriculture sector is an important source of livelihoods, employment and GDP in Zambia. Increased food supply resulting from additional grant funds will lead to more jobs, improved quality of life, and reduction of malnutrition in many impacted communities,” said Martin Fregene, African Development Bank Director of Agriculture and Agro-industry.
The project provides supplementary funds to the ongoing Agriculture Productivity and Market Enhancement Project, a $32 million grant-funded initiative also from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, which has been managed by the Bank in the Sinazongwe, Gwembe, Chongwe, Rufunsa, Serenje and Chitambo districts of Zambia over the past five years.
Global Agriculture and Food Security Program administrators said the six districts were selected based on poverty levels, food insecurity and malnutrition prevalence. However, with this funding and program, these districts have the potential for economic growth, and to promote crop diversification. Some 5,000 people, including 3,750 women and 1,000 youth, will benefit. Some 5,000 people will also benefit indirectly along the commodity value chains.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Zambia has implemented bold measures to protect the health and economic well-being of its citizens. These steps included a nationwide program to scale up agricultural diversification. The Bank’s Covid-19 Response Facility launched in 2020 has been a lifeline to member governments by providing resources to tackle the pandemic.
“The facility will consolidate the Bank’s support for Zambia’s economic diversification and impact mitigation against Covid-19,” said Mary Monyau, the Bank’s Country Manager in Zambia.
The Zambian project is in line with the Bank’s High 5 strategic priorities, specifically, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. Similar Bank projects have been successfully undertaken in Malawi, Niger, Liberia, Senegal and the Gambia.
The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program was established as a response to the 2008/09 world food price crisis, following a commitment by the Group of 8 nations (G8) in September 2009 to mobilize up to $20 billion for agricultural development and food security. The World Bank supervises about half of the project portfolio of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. The African Development Bank managed about a quarter in December 2019, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, 11%.
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