CBN, Banks To Blacklist Environmental Polluters

  • Defaulting firms, individuals will no longer enjoy access to credit

BY COBHAM NSA – Individuals and corporate bodies whose activities and programmes are injurious to the environment will no longer enjoy loans facilities from Nigerian Banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) dropped the bombshell on Thursday in Abuja, saying the move is meant to promote a green and sustainable environment in the country.

Speaking at an event to commemorate this year’s World Environment Day, the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele said banks would henceforth extend credit only to organisations and individuals with environmental friendly policies and programmes.

Emefiele said credit to borrowers would going forward take into consideration issues of environmental protection in the overall interest and welfare of Nigerians.

He said the theme of this year’s event, “Eco System Restoration”, is reminder that “our ecosystem remains green and we need to make sure we remove everything that is creating pollution in our environment.”

Further endorsing the need to keep the eco system alive so that everything remains green, Emefiele said; “On this basis, even in the banking industry, we have made sure that lending practices must take into consideration, our environment to be sure that sustainable banking principles are taken into account when banks are lending money.”

According to him; “Globally, today some of the international financial institutions and development finance institutions are beginning to say that as a bank, you want to borrow money from a bank, they will tell you that as long as they find anything that pollutes the environment; that does not make the environment clean and green, they will not condone that credit activity.”

Canvassing that Nigerian banks should not be left behind in adopting such global best practice, the CBN governor said; “We must join not only as bankers, we must join as Nigerians and members of the global community to ensure that our environment remains green and gives the oxygen flowing well in our lives that we can all live well and avoid pollutants that destroy our lives and the environment.”

Emefiele, who led the CBN’s Deputy Governors to plant trees within the premises, was also full of commendation for his Special Adviser on Sustainable Banking, Dr Aisha Mahmood.

He noted that she has done an excellent job handling the apex bank’s sustainable banking initiatives since taking up the assignment.

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