SEC intensifies strategy to deepen commodities market, generate forex
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has expressed its readiness to partner with the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) in a bid to further deepen the commodities trading ecosystem and generate foreign exchange for the country.
Director-General of the SEC, Lamido Yuguda, during a meeting with the Management of NAIC in Abuja at the weekend assured that the commission is committed to developing the commodities ecosystem as a potent way forward in Nigeria’s quest for sustainable foreign exchange earnings and economic development.
According to him, “in the past few months, this has been exacerbated by low oil production and oil theft in the country. This has often resulted in foreign exchange shortages and balance-of-payment problems.”
He said the commission, as part of its implementation of the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan, constituted a technical committee on commodities trading ecosystem whose mandate was to identify challenges of the existing framework and develop a Roadmap for a vibrant ecosystem.
“A committee composed of various stakeholders including the SON was set up to drive the implementation of the report. One of the recommendations in the report identified the development of grading and standardisation systems in line with international best practice. We are therefore willing to also work with NAIC to grow the commodities sector.”
Yuguda stated that the SEC and NAIC have a lot of things in common as both organisations are government agencies working towards the growth of the commodities sector of the economy.
According to Yuguda, “The SEC has been doing a lot of things in the commodities sector and the role of NAIC in this sector cannot be over emphasised and based on that, we would like to explore areas of collaboration to see how far we can help grow that sector together.
The SEC DG said there are markets that need these commodities that are produced in Nigeria but lamented that the only impediment at the moment is lack of standards which is the reason why some of the commodities are not being accepted in the international market for now.
He assured that the SEC is working hard to ensure that agricultural produce meet international specifications for export hence the need to also work with NAIC in a bid to be able to mitigate various risks in the ecosystem when they happen adding, “This sector is key to our country’s future. If we can harness it, it will greatly improve the economy of this country.”
Executive Commissioner Operations of the SEC, Dayo Obisan said enormous opportunities abound in the entire agricultural value chain, that if well harnessed would lead to further development of the nation’s economy.
“There have been a couple of developments in the commodities side, the entire value chain is quite large. The farmers want someone to take up the crops, even local companies in Nigeria can do that. They need quality seeds as well as the funds to buy them. If the sector is not de-risked, it will be difficult to attract investors”, Obisan added.
Managing Director of NAIC Mrs Folashade Joseph, stated that her organisation is willing and available to push forward any initiative that will add value to the population and the nation’s economy.
“It is a privilege to do this, as things begin to evolve, we try to push forward what will add value to the population. Our focus is on commodities. There are various evolving issues during the course of our business as insurers because we manage across the value chain”.
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