To ensure that Nigeria meets its climate change commitment, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have charged banks and other businesses to adopt sustainability principles in their operations.
They observed that while funding remains a challenge to implementing sustainability principles, innovative solution strategies must be deployed to engender a livable environment for the present and future generations.
Although compliance with Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBPs) by banks is voluntary, operators are expected to implement it as part of efforts to meet the Nigerian net zero commitment.
Speaking at a two-day workshop on ‘Assessment of Environment and Social Principles of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles: Challenges and Opportunities organised by the NCF and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), NCF Director General, Joseph Onoja, said there was a need to re-examine how NSBPs has fared over the past 10 years, the gaps/challenges and opportunities, as well as how the foundation will be able to provide the needed support in terms of expertise.
He noted that some banks have made progress regarding halting certain projects that would have been environmentally destructive, adding that the environment must be protected despite the fact that companies want to make profits.
According to him, the ‘Green Recovery Nigeria’ project is a way of establishing some of the objectives of NSBPs.
The Special Adviser to CBN Governor, Aisha Mahmood, pointed out that over a decade of implementation of the principles has led to banks redefining their long-term mission and corporate goals, re-evaluation of bank’s portfolio by assessing all direct and indirect environmental and social impacts of financial services provided by banks to clients.
According to her, the principles ensure the retooling of sustainable lending and investment to comply with regulatory expectations, harness significant growth opportunities, foster innovative opportunities in renewable energy and redefinition risks.
She said Apex bank is currently reviewing the NSBPs in line with the various frameworks, principles, guidelines and issues that exist in the country and globally.