OPEC Member Nigeria To Issue Africa’s First Sovereign Green Bond

OPEC oil producer Nigeria will issue next week the first sovereign green bond in Africa, and will use the proceeds to finance renewable energy micro utilities and forestation programs, Nigeria’s Debt Management Office said in a statement.

The Green Bond for US$29.7 million (10.69 billion naira) comes after Nigeria’s endorsement of the Paris Climate Agreement in September 2016.

The Debt Management Office is holding roadshows for prospective investors in Abuja and Lagos on December 14 and 15, 2017.

The offer is expected to close on December 20, Lanre Buluro, director of sales at Chapel Hill Denham, the financial adviser for the Green Bond issue, told Bloomberg on Thursday.

Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a Green Bond Assessment of GB1 (Excellent) to Nigeria’s green notes, adding that this issuance will be the first sovereign green bond sale in Africa and the fourth sovereign green bond globally.

“Robust disclosure practices, including expectations of ongoing and granular reporting over the life of the bond, will facilitate the implementation of Nigeria’s Paris Agreement commitments,” Charles Berckmann, Assistant Vice President and lead analyst in Moody’s Green Bond Assessment team, said.

Nigeria’s green bond issue follows sovereign green notes issuances from Poland, which was the first country to sell sovereign green bonds in December 2016, France, which netted US$8.3 billion (7 billion euro) in January 2017 to fund its energy transition plans, and Fiji, which became the first emerging market to issue a sovereign green bond in October 2017.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), as of September 2017, over US$96 billion of green bonds had been issued globally this year, and another US$39 billion of green bonds were expected by end-2017, for a total of US$134.9 billion for the whole year. The expected US$135 billion annual global issues of green bonds would be 36 percent higher than in 2016, and compares to just US$500 million in green bonds issued globally in 2008.

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