1-2 July 2015 | Abuja, Nigeria

UNEP Finance Initiative co-hosted a landmark event by the Nigeria’s Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee (FSRCC) to bring together senior officials and Board Members across the full spectrum of the Nigerian financial regulatory community to raise awareness and build capacity around the concept of Sustainable Finance. While some central banks and other financial regulators have started to address sustainability issues in recent years, a meeting involving the whole spectrum of a country’s financial regulatory landscape led by the Central Bank of Nigeria and including the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Ministry of Finance, National Insurance Commission, National Pension Commission, etc is very rare and is perhaps the world’s first such gathering.* In Nigeria, the banking sector has led on sustainable finance by developing the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles in 2012 under the auspices of its Central Bank. The Central Bank requires all the banks in the country to report on its implementation and progress on an annual basis staring from this year. While the Central Bank of Nigeria, which now has a Sustainability Department, is globally advanced on sustainable finance issues, for many of the other financial regulators in Nigeria the UNEP FI-FSRCC event provided an eye-opening experience at which for the first time they considered their role in supporting sustainable growth. By the end of the meeting, the Nigerian financial regulators had shown strong interest in continuing to work on sustainable development in a systematic way by introducing it as a theme in a subcommittee of the FSRCC. Through this subcommittee it is hoped that sustainable finance could be addressed at the strategic level via a possible development of a National Sustainable Finance Roadmap, in governance processes via the Corporate Governance Code which is currently developed and at the transaction level via a working group engaging with the sustainable development policy makers of Nigeria to jointly solve development problems. UNEP FI will be honoured and committed to continue to support the development of sustainable finance in Nigeria. Read the press coverage by The Guardian, Nigeria. Read the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative’s article of this event. View the event website.

*The closest is China’s Green Finance Task Force although this is more a wide gathering of stakeholders in the finance sector.