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Friday, March 31, 2023

Nigeria’s Financial Markets Receive Boost from UK-aid via FSD Africa

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Nigeria’s financial markets have been boosted by a series of announcements and commitments by Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa, a specialist development agency working to strengthen financial markets across sub-Saharan Africa.

The announcements were made as part of a two-week trip led by senior leaders from the UK-Aid funded agency in collaboration with partners.

These included the Lagos State Government, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) of Nigeria, Infracredit, FMDQ, the UN Environment Programme’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI), and BFA Global.

From progress in implementing green bonds to opportunities for the local pension sector and solutions to help the country’s insurance industry respond to climate change, the initiatives will enhance the strength and health of Nigeria’s financial markets, building the foundations for a stronger more resilient national economy.

Mark Napier, CEO of FSD Africa said: “As Africa’s largest economy and country in terms of population, stronger more robust financial markets are critical for Nigeria’s growth and prosperity.

FSD Africa remains a committed partner for strengthening Nigeria’s financial market, and we are thankful to our partners for their continued efforts and collaboration to unlock new pathways to prosperity and resilience for Nigerians.”

Ben Llewellyn-Jones OBE | Deputy High Commissioner, UK High Commission in Nigeria said: “Nigeria’s incredible capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship is powering a new era of economic growth that, with the right ingredients, can bring wealth and stability to more Nigerians than ever before. I’m incredibly proud that, through the work of organisations like FSD Africa and its partners, the UK government is helping get those ingredients in place. Core to everything, are effective financial markets, with the capacity to help scale-up businesses, insure against unforeseen risks, and energize the emergence of a sustainable economy.”

Mr. Thomas Olorundare Sunday, Commissioner for Insurance/CEO National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) commented: “We recognise the role of a thriving insurance sector in supporting steady economic growth. Through the initiatives announced today, I have confidence that Nigeria will be a regional leader in providing innovative insurance products and distribution channels, enabling wider insurance coverage across the country.”

Chinua Azubike, Chief Executive Officer of InfraCredit stated that: “To date, InfraCredit’s guarantees have enabled the issuance of up to USD200 Million (NGN Equivalent) of local currency infrastructure bonds, however an increasing pipeline of climate-aligned infrastructure projects are constrained by limited financial resources being dedicated to deliver well-structured projects that can access the debt capital markets, thus, our collaboration with FSD Africa through technical assistance support will also involve the design of an innovative financial solution that will catalyse more bankable climate-smart infrastructure projects for InfraCredit’s guarantees which will accelerate the issuance of credit worthy local currency infrastructure bonds to domestic institutional investors, thereby deepening the debt capital markets in Nigeria.”

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