After the success of the $1 billion dollar Eurobond Issue which was eight times oversubscribed, Nigeria is developing another, the Green Bond. It will be the first issued by an African country, in fact, it will be the first issued by an emerging market economy.
Green bonds are financial instruments that are created to fund projects that have positive environmental benefits. CNBC Africa’s Onyi Sunday spoke to outgoing Minister of Environment about the new bond, the ongoing cleanup of the Niger Delta and about her new role as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
On her new role as the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations:
I think this is an incredible honour and privilege. I am humbled to serve at that level. But it’s an opening to show that women from Africa can do this and I think that over and over again, we need to inspire the possibilities. We have a great secretary general who is there for all the right reasons so I hope that I can contribute to the vision in making the U.N the go to place for resolving many of the conflict issues that we have in the world today.
On the Green Bond:
It’s another way of finding an instrument that can help us bring together coherent action behind the NDC that we had for the Paris agreement on Climate Change but it’s doing it in such a way that it integrates with our macro-economic recovery program and brings in sectors that would otherwise not have had a chance to contribute to the economy.
On the benefits that the Green Bond could bring:
We’re really looking at what we’re going to be doing with power. The whole energy mix for us is important. Moving away from fossil fuels to renewables and doing that in a targeted way that looks at some of our poverty issues and generates jobs and creates more industry where we otherwise would not have had it.
On the clean up of the Niger Delta:
It’s not so difficult to clean up, it will take us 4-5 years, but the real challenge is how do we restore that environment to what it was? That will take a generation or two.
On the Port-Harcourt pollution situation:
Regulatory agencies have done an excellent job in the case of the soot, the partnering in Port Harcourt to find what the root cause is. Of course the major cause was the asphalt making company but the illegal refineries are also a part of that and I think that this is something that we’ve also got to take on board.