The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has warned that henceforth banks will consider sustainable banking principles when lending money to individuals and corporate entities.
He disclosed this on Thursday, while leading his deputies to plant trees at the CBN Head Office in commemoration of the 2021 World Environment Day with the theme: “Ecosystem Restoration”.
Sustainable banking principles are guidelines for managing environmental and social risk, footprint, and governance, as well as improving human rights, women’s economic empowerment, financial inclusion, capacity building, collaborative partnerships, and reporting in the financial services sector.
Emefiele said that the Nigerian banking sector was committed to protecting the environment by making sure that the principles of sustainable banking are put in place when banks consider those, they offer credit.
Citing examples of institutions that refuse to grant credit to customers whose activities pollute the environment, the Governor enjoined Nigerians to strive to make the environment green by restoring the ecosystem and avoiding pollutants that destroy the earth.
“There is the need for the environment to go green. We must join the global community to ensure that we clean the environment and rid the ecosystem of pollutants that are harmful to us,” he added.
Highpoint of the ceremony was the planting of trees by Emefiele and the Deputy Governors of the Bank; Mrs. Aishah Ahmad (Financial System Stability); Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu (Corporate Services), Dr. Kingsley Obiora (Economic Policy) and the representative of the Deputy Governor Operations, Mr. Folashodun Shonubi.
Meanwhile, as part of activities marking the World Environment Day for 2021, the Bank also paid advocacy visits to select schools in the Federal Capital Territory during which the Bank donated waste bins and recycled tissue papers.
At the Model Secondary School, Maitama, the Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Sustainable Banking, Dr. A’isha Mahmood, enjoined the students, who she described as young ambassadors of the environment, to protect the environment in order to avoid adverse environmental issues.
She noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institution in Nigeria had in 2012 adopted the Nigerian Sustainable Banking framework, a written document, guiding its business operations and practices, to ensure that their actions are socially and environmentally responsible.
Responding, the Principal of the school, Mrs. Elizabeth Emagun, thanked the Bank for its continued support, and affirmed that the lecture and token given, would put to good use.