NGX Regulation Limited (NGX RegCo), the independent regulatory company of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc held an issuer’s engagement forum to build the capacity of issuers in the capital market on climate-related disclosures.
The forum, held virtually on Wednesday, 14 December 2022 with the theme “Climate Disclosures: Trends, Risks, and Prospects” focused on issues regarding disclosures on climate reporting for listed companies and featured noteworthy expert contributions from industry professionals and policymakers.
Speakers agreed that companies have to institutionalise climate governance and their boards need to embrace capacity building and incorporate sustainability into their strategies. They also advised that governments should identify the impacts of economic activities on climate and create incentives to encourage better actions by stakeholders.
In her opening remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, NGX RegCo, Ms. Tinuade Awe, emphasised the company’s commitment to advancing sustainability and responsible climate governance in the capital market. According to her, it was pertinent for stakeholders to engage in robust discussions and for corporates to do more on climate reporting, adding that NGX RegCo was intent on promoting a fair, orderly, and transparent market that thrives on full and timely information disclosures for the protection of investors.
Quoting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022, Awe said the projections in the report on poverty escalation were worrisome even as Nigeria experienced its share of challenges amid rising inflation, flooding and insecurity. “A recent report by the Guardian points to lingering food crisis as a result of recent floods which could put 25.3 million people across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory into acute food crisis between June and August 2023 unless FG, states and the private sector take drastic steps to mitigate the destructive effects of the such potential national crisis on social and economic lives. It is essential for corporates in all sectors to reassess their priorities in the wake of these dire projections.”
She however noted some positive developments like Nigeria’s strides in the ESG space, particularly regulatory actions to drive sustainability and climate action. “These regulatory actions show that business can no longer be conducted as usual and emphasise the need to embrace sustainable business practices and credible disclosures as mitigating measures and sustainability risks whilst positioning themselves to attract more investors and potentially unlock capital flows to the Nigerian capital market. “
The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Lamido Yuguda, ably represented by the Executive Commissioner, Operations, Mr. Dayo Obisan said the Commission would continue to support all initiatives that enhance the development of the market including stakeholder engagements like the forum with the objective of promoting a fair and transparent market, which ultimately impacts market development.
Mr. Michael Ivenso, Senior Adviser to the Director General, National Council on Climate Change (NCCC) noted that the Federal Government was actively working on regulations, incentives, and other strategies that would drive the Nigerian climate agenda including potential tax implications, setting up of carbon markets and engagements.
Other speakers at the event were Dr. Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, Board Member, International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB); Eunice Sampson, Director, Climate Change & Sustainability, Ernst & Young West Africa; Dr. Igazeuma Okoroba, General Manager, Sustainability Nigeria & Pan Africa, Dangote Cement Plc; Rukaiya El-Rufai, Partner Sustainability, and Climate Change PwC Nigeria; Godstime Iwenekhai, Head, Listings Regulation, NGX RegCo; and Sophie Masipa, Co-Founder, Mwungano ESG.
NGX RegCo continues to promote sustainable business practices in Nigeria’s capital market by encouraging listed companies and noteworthy experts to embrace capacity building on sustainability and incorporate it into their strategies.