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Sustainable finance will attract growth, development ― SEC

As a country with abundant natural and human resources, Nigeria has been identified as better positioned to embrace sustainable finance principles and attract investment for the continent’s much-needed growth and development.

The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda stated this during a lecture to commemorate the IOSCO World Investor Week with the theme: ‘Investor Resilience and Sustainable Finance’, held in Abuja.

The IOSCO World Investor Week is an annual event coordinated by IOSCO, which encourages its members, securities regulators around the world, to commemorate their respective jurisdictions for the purpose of promoting investor education and protection.

Yuguda who was represented by the SEC’s Executive Commissioner Operations, Mr Dayo Obisan stated that the theme for this year’s WIW demonstrates the high-value IOSCO places on investor protection and the environment, especially in the context of the global pandemic and other challenges such as inflationary pressures, uncertainties occasioned by geopolitical tensions, and continued environmental degradation.

According to him, “Indeed, the themes, undoubtedly, further place emphasis on the universal call for sustainable finance and its resultant economic growth and development. There is no doubt therefore that all jurisdictions must think of transiting from exploiting nature to restoring nature.

“It is worthy of note that SEC through the market development department has done well to outline robust activities for the week-long global events.”

The SEC Boss said sustainable finance has evolved as a global concept, and the world firmly stands together to promote the transition to a low-carbon, more resource-efficient economy towards building a financial system that incentivises sustainable growth across nations.

“World over, issuers and investors are embracing the idea of sustainable investing and environment-friendly projects, hence the significant surge in sustainable investment within the last few years, which is apparently driven mainly by investors’ desire for a cleaner,
healthier and more equitable future.

“The Commission, as a regulator, is very much aware of its critical role in ensuring that the financial sector is steered towards green investments through its policies and regulations.”

The DG said it is in early recognition of the importance of sustainable finance that the commission came up with Rules on Green Bonds in 2018, and already three approvals were granted to some corporate Issuers, and the Commission has also issued Rules on Social Bonds in 2021.

In his remarks, Director, Market Development Department, Mr Nestor Ikeagu said the IOSCO WIW is an annual global week-long event which aims at promoting investor education and protection as well as strengthening collaborations among member jurisdictions.

To commemorate the IOSCO WIW 2022, the commission embarked on activities, such as enlightenment outreaches, social media campaigns and radio appearances to mention but a few.

Topics covered during the week presented participants with opportunities to discuss and reflect on what boosts and enhances investor resilience in the market, as well as sustainable finance as it involves making investment decisions that consider not only financial returns, but also environmental, social, and governance factors.

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