The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Financial Centre for Sustainability Lagos (FC4S) and Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre (NCIC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to fund green projects in Nigeria.
The agreement is part of a global initiative on climate change and environmental sustainability, which President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is trying to push.
The MoU seeks to create a dedicated fund for green projects within the micro, small, and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) ecosystem.
It provides a general framework for a project implementation partnership between the service providers and DBN in respect of the provision of finance for Green MSMEs in Nigeria.
The pact will see the DBN play the role of a funding partner for green projects across Nigeria while the NCIC and FC4SL will serve as service providers.
This will ensure that the MSMEs have access to finance to execute climate-resilient and green projects in support of global drive on green and sustainability.
“We are particularly excited about this partnership because it aligns with our mandate as a development finance institution and also, with our corporate values,” Ijeoma Ozulumba, executive director, finance & corporate services, DBN, stated.
She said that ‘in line with the Bank’s innovative mandate of improving access to finance for Nigerian MSMEs, Green Finance and related services to Nigerian MSMEs will promote climate action and accelerate sustainable socio economic development in technology, agriculture, health, education and job creation.
The areas of collaboration between the service providers and the DBN include: “to develop the ecosystems for the financing of Green MSMEs, review of MSMEs project ideation and design, capacity building and ensuring financial readiness of MSMEs, in addition to the provision of strands for Women-led MSMEs in green areas, research and data provision and project verification to ensure compliance with globally accepted taxonomy/sustainability principles and standards.”
As contained in a mailed statement, DBN will provide the financing platform from international development partners for Green MSMEs as identified and endorsed by the service providers as well as technical/financial assistance to partners, financial institutions, and MSMEs to develop capacity for ideation, development, financing, and management of impactful, viable, and financially sustainable green projects.
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According to Emmanuel Etaderhi, executive secretary of FC4S Lagos, “the Green MSMEs Fund is critically important to easing access to finance for MSMEs that are implementing low-carbon, climate-resilient projects as this will contribute towards the achievement of Nigeria’s NDCs and the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”
Also speaking on the MoU which held in Lagos, Bankole Oloruntoba, MD/CEO of the NCIC stated that the core of NCIC duties is to create linkages for Green SMEs and mid-sized companies operating in several gaps in the emerging green economy.
These linkages include access to finance, capacity building, access to markets, prototype design, etc. for the Green MSMEs and financing organisations.
“We are excited to collaborate with FC4S Lagos and DBN on this journey to scale the green ventures and create a viable Green Economy in Nigeria,” Oloruntoba added.