The Federal Government and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) have identified sustainability in the banking operations as part of the global challenges, which need attention, especially with switch to a new development goal agenda- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, while delivering a lecture at CIBN’s yearly lecture titled “SDGs and Financial Services Sector: The Meeting Point”, said development is about capital allocation and that should be the core of financial market activity.
She pointed out that financial institutions interact with the environment in a number of ways through investment, innovative products, risk and returns valuations, pollutions and most times, victims of the environment.
The minister, who was represented by the Director General, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Dr. Adesola Adepoju, echoed that there is a huge potential to reinforce the link between environmental performance and financial performance through the use of economic instruments like taxes.
“There should be focus on the environmental impacts of financial products rather than mere impact of internal operations and the country should lead the flow of environmental information that are relevant to the financial market.”
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were developed by the United Nations on September 25, 2015 and contain 17 focus areas, including end to poverty, inequality, planet and prosperity for all, among others, but require government and private sector, particularly financial institutions to reach the goal.
In the course of this, several conversations have emerged on practical ways to ensure these goals move from just the ‘hype’ of things to action and tangible impact on the world and its citizens.
Governments, businesses and individuals are still called upon to key into the ideology of the SDGs and take appropriate actions in order to achieve a more sustainable environment by 2030.