LAGOS Feb 23 – Nigeria’s government plans to launch a 20 billion-naira ($64 million) “green bond” in April to fund projects to reduce carbon emissions and develop renewable energy, the minister of environment said on Thursday.
Amina Mohammed, who is due to join the United Nations as deputy secretary general, told investors in Lagos the programme was part of plans to widen Nigeria’s funding options and diversify its oil-dependent economy.
“The green bond issuance will be the first stage in enabling Nigeria to tap into the growing global market for green bonds,” she said in a statement.
She said the bond would be aimed at domestic markets and its focus would be on low-emission projects in areas including solar power, agriculture, transport and deforestation.
On Wednesday, Mohammed said Nigeria also planned a green bond sale abroad.
Nigeria is in its deepest recession in 25 years and needs to make up for a big shortfall in its budget. Revenues have plunged with the price of crude and militants have attacked the oil-producing Niger Delta, cutting output.
Environmental protection in Nigeria has been held back by weak governance and corruption.
The government has said it plans to borrow up to $10 billion this financial year, with about half coming from foreign sources.
It sold $1 billion worth of 15-year Eurobonds this month that were almost eight times oversubscribed. The government is now seeking approval from parliament to issue an additional $500 million Eurobond.
It also plans to raise a debut $300 million diaspora bond abroad and sell a maiden sovereign sukuk in the local market.
($1 = 314.5000 naira)