NIGERIAN commercial banks will no longer lend money to individuals and corporate bodies whose activities harm the environment under and ambitious green programme aimed at ensuring the country honours its environmental obligations.
Nigeria is a signatory to the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change which committed the nation to limiting global warming and achieving a climate neutral world by mid-century. Signed by 196 countries, the agreements commits them to generating more power from clean energy sources such as solar, wind and biofuels.
Earlier this year, vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo, announced ambitious plans to ensure that about 30% of Nigeria’s electricity supply is generated from clean energy and renewable sources by 2030. Taking this a step further, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Godwin Emefiele, used the occasion of World Environment Day to announce that lending will from henceforth be tied to keeping a green and sustainable environment.
Mr Emefiele said: “In the banking industry, we have made sure that lending practices must take into consideration, our environment to be sure that sustainable banking principles are taken into account when banks are lending money. Already some of the international financial institutions and development finance institutions are beginning to say that as a bank, you want to borrow money from them, they will tell you that as long as they find anything that pollutes the environment, that does not make the environment clean and green, they will not condone that credit activity.”
He added that Nigerian banks must join not only as bankers but as Nigerians and members of the global community to ensure that our environment remains green. After delivering his address, Mr, Emefiele led the deputy governors of the bank to plant trees on the CBN premises.