France having committed more than €1.5bn to the Green Climate Fund since 2019, it was only natural that the meeting took place at the French Embassy under the primary patronage of the French Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS.
As a reminder, on August 23rd, 2022, BoI and AFD have already signed a €100m credit-line for the expansion of green finance in Nigeria. This was approved under AFD’s Transforming Financial Systems for Climate (TFSC) Program with the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a USD650m-Program developed in 17 countries for 100% climate investment projects.
The TFSC Program focuses on financing investments that contribute to climate change mitigation or adaptation, specifically projects focused on renewable energy, low carbon and efficient energy generation, climate smart agriculture technologies, clean urban transportation and others.
BoI and AFD also understand the importance of mainstreaming Climate Finance within BOI’s strategy and operations. Therefore, the grant agreement sets up a technical assistance scheme for BoI. The objective is to build the capacity of BoI, thereby providing tools for effective identification and development of eligible bankable climate-related projects as well as improving the readiness of the bank’s customers to implement green practices in their operations. In this context, the implementation of the Environment and Social Governance framework provided for in the credit agreement will be an important part of the technical assistant mandate.
“Given the serious threat that climate change poses to equitable and sustainable development in Nigeria, it is critical for us at BoI to take the lead in mobilizing capital for green and sustainable investment. In addition to the line of credit, the € 2.5m Technical Assistance funds will support capacity building for BoI and its customers, thereby enabling the scaling of current efforts by BoI towards climate change mitigation and adaptation. This will contribute significantly to reducing Nigeria’s carbon foot print.With specific reference to Gender Equality, the technical assistant will support BOI in the development and implementation of professional gender equality and gender lens investing policies” said Mr. Olukayode Pitan, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Industry, at the grant agreement signing ceremony.
Bearing in mind the Paris Agreement, Mr. Xavier Muron, Country Director for AFD, recognized BoI’s commitment to embed sustainability in its business practices to drive strategic social, economic and environmental impact in the communities the Bank serves.
Needless to say that for BoI, a key financial actor supporting the country’s goal to reach carbon neutrality, having a strong technical assistance to build its climate finance strategy is paramount.
Mr. Pitan acknowledged the dedication of AFD, the GCF and its strategic partners to ensure a smooth and efficient implementation of this deal: “BoI welcomes its partnership with the AFD and GCF as it continues to implement President Muhammadu Buhari’s policies with respect to climate finance. We commend the professional approach adopted by these partners in delivering this technical assistance package. We are confident it will enhance BoI and its customers’ capacity and readiness for climate finance. We believe this is the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Muron appreciated the strong relationship BoI and AFD have been building and looks forward to further support the BoI in its activities towards achieving the SDGs.