Abuja- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has gone into partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to train its staff in environmental and social risk management.
Aisha Mahmud, the Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Sustainable Banking, made this known at the training workshop on Environmental and Social (E & S) Risk Management for CBN staff on Tuesday in Abuja.
She said the training was aimed at enhancing the capacity of staff in supervising banks in the implementation of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP).
``We have entered a collaborative partnership with IFC to build our capacity so that we can have an environmental and social risk management programmme within the CBN and make sure we have a low carbon emission organisation.
``The programme was put in place because we have realised that we cannot achieve sustainable development without balancing the economic, social and environmental issues.
``The essence is to make sure that the financial institutions in every business they do consider the financial, environmental and social issues.
``We need to make sure that whatever we do today, as a country, does not compromise the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs,’’ she said.
According to her, the CBN has a dual role in implementing the principles and monitoring compliance by the banking industry.
She added that the apex bank had developed a set of actions and activities that would help to reduce carbon footprint immediately.
``The Nigerian sustainability banking principle is an emerging issue, not only in Nigeria but also globally.
``Being an emerging issue, we need to build our capacities to be able to implement it, and one of the ways is through this programme we are having today,’’ she said
Mr Ahmed Abdullahi, the Director, Governance Department of the CBN, said that the training would educate institutions within the financial industry on environmental and social issues that could affect growth in the industry.
``The benchmark on these principles is to sensitise CBN staff to environmental and social responsibility risk management issues,’’ he said.
He noted that no fewer than 100 staff members of the apex bank would be trained in the programme, adding that the training would help to create awareness about the emergence of economic waste in the society.
``Environmental issues as well as social issues are global trends now, and the Nigerian banking system cannot be left behind because it has to generally move with the global trend.
``Corporations all over the world are now concerned about not only short term profit making but also sustainability issues generally,’’ he said.
Mrs Sandra Abiola, IFC Social Environment specialist, said the aim of the partnership was to help the CBN to create its own capacity in supervising banks in the implementation of NSBP.
She said that about 34 financial institutions in 2012 agreed on the principle, adding that the CBN issued a circular stating that it would assist the banks in enforcing the principles.
Abiola said the relationship between climate change and sustainable growth in the banking system cannot be over emphasised.
``Climate change and related issues such as environmental and social risk issues impact the bank because if a bank provides a loan to a company suffering from these risks, the bank will also be at a credit risk,’’ she said.