The ongoing 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (“COP26”) has once again set sustainability and sustainable finance at the fore of global conversations, as world leaders have collectively resolved to tackle climate change.
It has therefore become imperative to deepen the sustainable finance ecosystem to foster more sustainable investments for the achievement of these lofty aims. As a sustainabilityfocused financial market infrastructure (FMI) group, FMDQ Holdings PLC’s (“FMDQ Group” or “FMDQ”) strong commitment to its five (5) Sustainability Pillars – Business, Markets, People, Community and Environment, and recognition of the need for Nigeria to continuously stay at the forefront of the global sustainable finance drive, have seen the Group take the lead in championing sustainable finance initiatives in the Nigerian financial markets.
In furtherance ofthis, FMDQ Group,through its wholly owned subsidiary, FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited (“FMDQ Exchange”), on November 8, 2021, launched the pioneer Green Exchange in Africa – FMDQ Green Exchange, introducing a platform specifically for green and sustainable securities.
FMDQ Green Exchange (the “Green Exchange”), a virtual information repository platform dedicated to driving the growth of green and sustainable securities and providing reliable green data in the Nigerian financial markets – through promoting transparency, good governance, and compliance – by showcasing securities issuances that align with global Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) principles, was launched in a prestigious ceremony that saw the virtual and physical attendance of the Nigerian financial markets stakeholders, including the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the Special Guest of Honour, ably represented by the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Government on the Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”) and Investments, the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Yuguda, the pioneer Issuers of green securities on FMDQ Exchange – Debt Management Office, Nigeria (DMO); Access Bank PLC; and North South Power Company Limited (NSP), sustainability enthusiasts, as well as notable stakeholders in the global sustainable finance space, amongst others.
Mr. Bola Onadele. Koko, Chief Executive Officer, FMDQ Group, during his opening address, said “with climate change increasingly becoming one of the biggest risks facing the world today and in recognition of an even greater need to promote economic development in Nigeria through green and sustainable finance, FMDQ Group considered it pertinent to launch the FMDQ Green Exchange initiative. We are indeed proud to note that the launch of Nigeria’s premier Green Exchange places Nigeria, and by extension, Africa, amongst other global jurisdictions with securities exchanges with such exclusive platforms, such as the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, which launched the world’s first and leading dedicated platform for sustainable finance (the Luxembourg Green Exchange), amongst others.” Delivering his keynote address, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, represented by his Special Adviser on the SDGs and Investments, Mrs. Solape Hammond, said “the value that a Green Exchange such as this brings, providing investors a transparent, effective platform for accessing the African sustainability finance market and thereby opening the doors of deep sustainable funds for infrastructure and social development, is almost immeasurable.
There is therefore no doubt that the FMDQ Green Exchange will assist in unlocking sustainable resiliency.” He also reiterated Lagos State’s commitment to championing and supporting initiatives geared towards the sustainable socio-economic development of Lagos State, and the nation at large. In an equally exciting development poised to further deepen the Nigerian debt capital market and as a highlight of the launch ceremony, FMDQ Exchange and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE) executed a Listing Agent and Cooperation Agreement to facilitate the dual listing of securities issued by financial institutions and corporates domiciled in Nigeria on both FMDQ Exchange and LuxSE markets. Speaking to this development, Ms. Julie Becker, Chief Executive Officer, LuxSE stated “we are pleased to enter into this Cooperation Agreement with FMDQ Exchange and will work together to create synergies and connections across our markets.
I would like to congratulate FMDQ Exchange on the launch of the FMDQ Green Exchange and I look forward to further exploring new fields of cooperation in the area of green finance.” Lauding this initiative, Ms. Tumi Sekoni, Managing Director, FMDQ Exchange, said “Indeed, we are excited to be executing a Listing Agent & Cooperation Agreement with LuxSE, and hopeful that this partnership will birth an avenue for FMDQ Exchange and LuxSE to achieve formidable market cooperation and promote even greater information symmetry for the benefit of the Nigerian and global financial markets”.
The ceremony culminated with Goodwill Messages from FMDQ’s markets stakeholders, including Ms. Patience Oniha, Director-General, DMO; Mr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank PLC; Engr. Olubunmi Peters, Executive Vice Chairman/ CEO, NSP; Dr, Doyin Salami, Vice Chairman, Financial Centre for Sustainability, Lagos; Mr. Bolaji Balogun, Chairman, Steering Committee, FMDQ Debt Capital Market Development Project; Mr. Ben Llewellyn-Jones, OBE, Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission, Lagos, amongst many others. Not resting on its laurels, FMDQ Group shall continue to place financial innovation at its core as it leverages on global best practices to deliver unrivaled value to the Nigerian financial markets, with the support of its varied stakeholders.