By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, in another significant move towards championing sustainable investing in Africa, has listed a N20.5 billion closed-end infrastructure fund of Africa Infra Plus Fund (AIPF I) on its platform.
On Tuesday, January 24, 2023, the exchange held a closing gong ceremony to commemorate the listing of the fund.
Co-managed by Africa Plus Partners Plc and Capitaltrust Investments & Asset Management Limited, AIPF 1 is Nigeria’s first Carbon+ (ESG-focused) naira-denominated infrastructure fund to be listed on the exchange.
AIPF 1’s structure is a pool of equity and quasi-equity investments in Carbon+ infrastructure projects that promote sustainable development, including but not limited to roads, power, water supply, wastewater management, ports, and airports.
The carbon mitigation fund also acquires the shares and other investment instruments issued by socially responsible entities carrying on infrastructure business or executing infrastructure projects exclusively.
Commenting on the development, the Chief Executive Officer of NGX, Mr Temi Popoola, said, “Today’s listing marks a significant milestone in our commitment to promoting sustainable investing and reducing the drivers and impact of climate change. We are proud to be at the forefront of this and look forward to more exploits as we drive growth in the capital market.”
Speaking to members of the media, the Chairman of Africa Plus Partners, Anhad Narula, said, “This is a sustainable infrastructure fund that specialises in carbon-mitigating infrastructure investments.
“The fund, whose investors include ordinary Nigerians via their pension fund administrators, is committed to investing in sustainable infrastructure businesses that align with the global energy transition and move towards cleaner sources of energy and efficiently run, sustainable infrastructure and utility services.”
On his part, the Managing Director of Africa Plus Partners Plc, Mr Adeniran Ajakaiye, stated, “With this listing, we aim to demonstrate the highest levels of good governance and transparency as we continue to deliver active returns to shareholders whilst addressing Nigeria’s ‘missing middle’ infrastructure gap.”
AIPF aims to address the imbalance between the need for infrastructure development and the concerns about environmental and social impact by investing in projects that meet strict ESG criteria.
The listing of the fund on NGX is a clear indication of the growing interest and demand for sustainable investing in Africa and the exchange’s commitment to the same.
NGX also plans to launch an Impact Board to further give visibility to sustainable financial instruments listed on the bourse and to encourage more listings in the sustainable finance segment as part of its sustainability drive for the capital market.