(Abuja, 2 July 2015) The United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, through the United Nations Environment Program’s Finance Initiative and Nigeria’s Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee (FSRCC), have brought 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. The two-day event commencing on 1 July gave an overview of the Nigerian finance industry’s journey to sustainable finance, including the signing up of Nigerian financial institutions to the UNEP Finance Initiative and the Nigerian Stock Exchange becoming an SSE partner exchange in 2013, and then explored the next steps for further promoting sustainable finance in Nigeria.
“The Nigerian financial regulators have shown vision and leadership by becoming one of the first examples in the world where all financial regulators in a country have come together to discuss their role in sustainable development” said Yuki Yasui, Deputy Head of UNEP Finance Initiative.
This event builds on an ongoing coordination between the UNEP Finance Initiative and the Central Bank of Nigeria. Since the launch of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles implemented by the Nigerian Central Bank in 2012, Nigeria’s central bank has actively promoted awareness and capacity building within the banking sector and among key stakeholders.
Participants included the CEO of the Nigerian Securities Regulator, Mr. Oscar Onyema, CEO of Continental Reinsurance Dr. Femi Oyetunji and Access Bank Group Managing Director and COO Mr. Obinna Nwosu.
The SSE initiative is co-organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Global Compact, the UNEP Finance Initiative, and the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The initiative explores how stock exchanges can work together with investors, regulators and companies to enhance corporate transparency – and ultimately performance – on environmental, social and corporate governance issues, and encourage responsible long-term approaches to investment.