INVESTIGATION: Nigeria’s first green bond-financed project falls flat with N30 million lost

Nigeria’s bid to gradually reverse the impact of climate change by planting millions of trees has suffered a major setback after a government-funded afforestation programme worth over N30 million failed less than three years after the project was completed, PREMIUM TIMES has found.

The government said it spent N30.4 million from its historic Green Bond initiative to plant six million trees in Oyo State, but PREMIUM TIMES found just a few hundreds of trees during a recent visit.

Officials said the trees died as a result of drought and other factors and that remedial efforts were underway. But the finding has alarmed environmental activists and ecological experts who questioned the planning and execution of the project.

“The field visit shows very clearly a project executed in the usual fashion of lack of transparency and accountability that has tailed most national projects,” said Enoabasi Anwana, a senior ecologist at the University of Uyo, who conducted a qualitative analysis of the project.

Green Bonds

In 2017 and 2019, Nigeria issued two “green bonds” worth N10.69 billion and N15 billion respectively, becoming the first African country and the fourth in the world to raise a debt instrument entirely for the purpose of financing sustainable environmental projects.

Read more from the source: PREMIUM TIMES