Impact capital in Nigeria is valued at $4.7 billion, with the private sector contributing 20 percent of that amount. As the world continues to emphasise transition to cleaner energy and net zero emission, experts say impact investment can play a key role in achieving this in a just, equitable, sustainable and inclusive manner.
But to unlock more private capital in impact investment, Nigeria needs the right policies to drive private sector buy-in, according to Maria Etemore Glover, project lead, Impact Investors Foundation (IIF).
Speaking in Lagos on the sidelines of the 5th Annual Convening on Impact Investing, Glover said Nigeria requires policies to build the market framework and legitimize the impact investment space, adding that if the right policies are not in place, the private sector participants would not increase at the speed that is expected of them to deploy capital.
She, however, hinted that with efforts from IIF, which engages and collaborates with key stakeholders active in the impact investing space to unlock capital for social investments in Nigeria, there is a significant buy-in in the space, as more investors are getting interested in impact investment because there is no finance without discussions around sustainability and the bottom line.
Glover said IIF builds a strong impact investment ecosystem by working with various foundations and sectors, from investors across the various spaces including philanthropic spaces, development finance institution, institutional investors, among others.
“We look at the demand sector; those demanding capital for social development, intermediaries and policymakers, among others. We are looking at all sorts of people working together towards strengthening impact investment in the ecosystem,” Glover said.
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“Impact investment is a new space and we know that with impact investment, we are able to provide financing and skills to solve our social development problems because government cannot fund our social development by themselves. There is a need for public-private partnerships,” she explained.
Glover noted that forums like the one organised by IIF help bring the stakeholders together, identify challenges in the space and look at how to mobilize capital towards addressing them.
Every year, the Annual Convening on Impact Investing extends the frontiers of impact investing in Nigeria. By bringing together the widest range of impact investing stakeholders, it stimulates conversations, births solutions and culminates in the Annual Deal summit where impact investors meet social enterprises.
“This year, we are focusing on sustainability and just transition. This is so important and there are different aspects of sustainability. We see the flooding that is happening and people being displaced. How do we get the private sector involved?” Glover said.
“Everyone is talking about net zero and Nigeria has made a commitment towards the net zero. We hope to achieve net zero by 2060. $10 billion annually is needed to achieve net zero. Where is that going to come from? What is the annual budget?” she said.
Glover stressed that there is a need for private sector to partner government to get more capital towards just transition, so that no one is left behind.
The Fifth Annual Convening on Impact Investing featured plenary and breakout sessions focusing on trending sustainability themes in Nigeria, including the just transition and funding it with impact capital, the energy transition and pathway to cleaner energy, regulations and frameworks on sustainability, the circular economy and waste management, climate action and Nigeria’s response, powering Africa through sustainable and clean energy, and the role of impact investment in achieving sustainable socio-economic development and just transition.
Speakers include Prince Clem I. Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, who gave a keynote address on “The Role of Impact Investment in Achieving Sustainable Socio-economic Development through a Just Transition”, Mohamed Yahya, UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Markus Wagner, Country Director, Nigeria & ECOWAS, GIZ, among many others.