The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC) in what is seen as a significant step towards addressing those pressing challenges posed by climate change in Nigeria while charting a sustainable future for Africa’s largest economy.
The collaboration targets a range of areas, including development of Nigeria’s climate change framework, guidelines for the regulation of carbon emissions, development of a national carbon registry and a carbon emissions trading mechanism, as well as management of a Climate Change Fund.
The partnership between two of Nigeria’s flagship institutions is also expected to catalyze private finance to accelerate Nigeria’s ambitious climate and national development agenda.
At the signing ceremony in Abuja, Aminu Umar-Sadiq, NSIA Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said the collaboration with NCCC which is the primary agency responsible for coordinating Nigeria’s response to climate change demonstrates commitment to safeguarding the country’s natural resources, protecting vulnerable communities, and fostering a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy.
The MoU emphasizes the urgency of immediate and ambitious action to address climate risks and enables the attainment of the shared objectives between the NSIA and NCCC. The two partners hope to leverage their respective strengths, knowledge, and resources to develop and implement comprehensive climate change strategies.
The pact is critical considering that climate change remains one of the world’s greatest challenges today, which Nigeria is not immune to like the devastating effects from extreme weather events to floods and declining agricultural yields, which have led to the loss of lives and property, as well as severe economic hardship for the citizens.
Read also: SAI unveils climate risk challenge
Umar-Sadiq noted that as managers of Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund, NSIA recognizes its critical role in driving sustainable economic growth and environmental resilience and aligns with the country’s commitment for attaining its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and energy transition ambitions.
In demonstration of its commitment, the NSIA has already developed and implemented a three-fold Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) strategy which addresses sustainability, embeds ESG practices in its investment process while advancing climate solutions that foster carbon footprint reduction, and build partnerships with other institutions to support Nigeria’s overall goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2060.
Umar-Sadiq said that the NSIA recognizes that addressing climate change requires a collaborative effort and explains why it has forged strategic alliances with relevant stakeholders.
In 2021, the Authority became a member of the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Initiative (OPSWF), a network of signatories integrating climate change risks into investment practices and investing in the smooth transition to a low emission economy.
It is also actively seeking membership of climate finance institutions to position the NSIA to combat the menace of climate change and support the attainment of sustainable development goals.
“A core pillar of our Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) strategy is to actively build strategic partnerships with relevant organizations to support climate change actions and Nigeria’s energy transition ambitions of achieving net zero emissions by 2060. The agreement with our partner, NCCC is one of the strategic steps we are taking to meet our social impact goals and sustainability commitments,” he stressed.
In addition to the MoU Signing, the NSIA equally launched its maiden impact report, a significant milestone outlining progress towards the attainment of the Authority’s developmental and socio-economic impact as well as a comprehensive assessment of its investments, operations, and achievements.
It equally underscores its commitment to transparency, accountability, and a data-driven approach to impact measurement.
As contained in the impact report, the NSIA through its operations has delivered impactful initiatives consistent with the target outcomes for 15 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
These include creating over 500,000 direct and indirect jobs through various initiatives and projects, while supporting over 230,000 farmers through various agri-projects across the country with over 68% of the primary beneficiaries being women.
It has also made significant progress on 3 high-priority national road projects which have a combined road length of 515.4km, including Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Abuja-Kano highway and the Second Niger bridge.
The Authority continues to set standards in oncology (cancer) and diagnostics services in Nigeria with NSIA’s healthcare interventions through the medical centres of excellence located in Lagos, Kano and Umuahia. The two diagnostics centres located in Kano and Umuahia have served nearly 300,000 patients while the cancer centre in Lagos held over 150,000 chemotherapy sessions to cater to cancer patients.
It has commenced field work on site of 10MW solar farm in Kumbotso, Kano State (now completed in 2023) and sustained trajectory on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
It has also launched the NSIA Graduate Analyst Programme to build capabilities within the country in the areas of Asset Management, Infrastructure Project Management, Portfolio Management & Reporting, Finance, Treasury Management and Risk. A total of 36 Nigerian professionals benefitted from the first programme.
It has also maintained gender and ethnic pay equity and achieved growth in female workforce to roughly 36.3 % of total full-time employees across grade levels amongst other achievements.
The launch of NSIA’s Impact Report is not merely a reflection of its achievements, but highlights the Authority’s development agenda and impact over several years of operations as well as the Authority’s efforts to safeguard the environment and address relevant climate-related risks and opportunities in line best practice, according to the MD/CEO.
“It is also a call to action, a challenge to ourselves and our partners to do more and do better,” he stated, noting commitment to keep strengthening reporting, and fostering a culture that recognizes risks and opportunities from climate change challenges and sustainability efforts throughout the Authority, its affiliates, and associate companies on an annual basis.
In his remarks, Salisu Dahiru, Director General of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), described the partnership as a bold signal to the global audience about the Nigerian Government’s seriousness on its climate commitments.
He noted that by committing resources from its sovereign wealth fund to support climate action and an inclusive green economic growth, Nigeria is investing in its future, especially in a vastly decarbonizing world.
The DG commended the President Buhari-led administration’s effort in demonstrating executive ownership of Nigeria’s climate policies through the Climate Change Act of 2021, the establishment of the National Council on Climate Change and the commitment toward a net zero economy by 2060.
He called upon Nigerians to embrace the opportunities offered by climate change to build a resilient economy and improve the adaptive capacities of our communities to extreme weather events, now and in the future.