NEWS

Access Bank Signs $75m Loan To Combat Climate Change

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By Grace Alegba

Access Bank Plc has secured a 75 million dollar facility from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to support climate change measures in Nigeria.

The bank disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos.

Citi, a preeminent banking partner for institutions with cross-border needs, a global leader in wealth management and a valued personal bank in United States, acted as the sole coordinator and agent.

The facility underscores a commitment of Access Bank, JICA and Citi to support climate change measures in Nigeria.

The use of proceeds of the loan are expected to be used to finance a wide range of sub-projects.

The projects include renewable-energy, energy-saving and agriculture-related that contribute to climate change measures.

Mr Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, said the bank recognised the need for urgent sustainable solutions to combat climate change.

“This landmark agreement with JICA reaffirms our commitment to
leveraging financial resources for impactful initiatives that promote environmental resilience and contribute to Nigeria’s climate action agenda.

“By investing in renewable energy, energy-saving, and agriculture-related projects, we aim to create a positive ripple effect, not only mitigating the effects of climate change but also fostering economic growth and improving livelihoods within our communities.

“Indeed, this partnership represents a shared commitment to a greener, more sustainable future for Nigeria and beyond,” he said.

 

Jin Wakabayashi, Deputy Director General, Private Sector Partnership and Finance Department at JICA, who emphasised the importance of implementing the project, said it was the first loan facility by the agency’s private sector investment finance in Nigeria.

Wakabayashi said that facility marked a new milestone in the long history of its cooperation with the country.

“In addition, we are delighted to have an opportunity to work with such a reputable and quality partner, Access Bank, which has a sophisticated business platform and an established track record of climate finance.

“Under the partnership with Access Bank, JICA’s facility is expected to be used for projects which contribute to climate change measures in Nigeria, and we expect that this collaboration will be further deepened in the years to come,” he said.

Also, Richard Hodder, Global Head of Export Agency Finance (EAF) at Citi, said the firm was committed to providing solutions that facilitate investments linked to energy transition, energy security and key drivers of economy and growth.

“Citi is proud to partner as the sole coordinator and agent in facilitating JICA’s first transaction in Sub-Saharan Africa under the Private Sector Investment and Finance
scheme.

“Following on from the Citi-arranged DFC (U.S. International Development Finance Corporation) facility to Access Bank in 2022, this partnership is a meaningful
roadmap towards TICAD 9 (Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development) to be held in Tokyo in 2025.

“Nigeria, a signatory to the Paris Agreement, has set ambitious targets to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions, requiring substantial investments in climate change
mitigation and adaptation measures.

“Furthermore, the implementation of the deal aligns with Nigeria’s efforts to mobilise private sector funds for climate action, in line with Sustainable Development Goals 2 (Zero hunger), 7 (Affordable and clean energy), 13 (Climate action), and 17 (Partnerships
for the goals),” he said.

He said it resonated with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s vision for a more climate-resilient and sustainable society.

“Through strategic collaborations and innovative financing mechanisms, Access Bank
and JICA together with Citi are pioneering efforts to address climate change challenges,
setting a precedent for sustainable development in the region,” Hodder said. (NAN)

 

Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa

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