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Nigeria set to issue N150bn sovereign green bond, first in Africa

By The Rainbow
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Nigeria is set to become the first country on the continent to issue a security that raises funds for environmental projects when it launches its green bond on December 18.

The government plans to sell N10.7bn ($30m) and the offer is billed to close on December 20, Bloomberg quoted Lanre Buluro, the director of sales at Chapel Hill Denham, the financial adviser for the issuance, as saying.

 The offer, which will be listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange, is the first tranche of a N150bn programme, according to a statement by Moody's Investors Service.

Nigeria plans to use the bond to finance projects in its 2017 budget including renewable-energy micro-utilities and forestation programmes, the Debt Management Office said Wednesday. A road show for prospective investors is planned in the capital, Abuja, Thursday and in the commercial hub of Lagos on Friday.

The pricing will reflect secondary market rates, DMO Director-General, Patience Oniha, said on Thursday at a press conference in Abuja.

The bond will enable the country, which aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 40 per cent by 2030, to “support initiatives aimed at moderating climate change by investing in solar plants, hydro power and agriculture,” Buluro said by phone from Lagos.

Nigeria, which derives more than 90 per cent of its export income from crude, will become the world's fourth sovereign issuer of green bonds. Africa's biggest economy is reeling from its worst economic slump in about 25 years due to lower crude output and a slow recovery of oil prices last year, pushing it to tap debt markets to fund its budget.

Text credit: PUNCH