The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says a more structured commodities market will provide a fair playing field for local market participants while offering the required infrastructure needed to expose Nigeria’s commodities market.
Acting Director-General of the SEC. Ms. Mary Uduk stated this while briefing newsmen on the two-day International Conference on Nigeria Commodities Market beginning in Abuja on March 16.
She applauded the Federal Government’s efforts at diversifying the Nigerian economy and moving the nation away from an overreliance on a single commodity.
A structured market for commodities she said, will also provide price discovery to market participants – producers and consumers alike – leading to efficiency and better decision making.
The SEC Boss said the three existing commodities exchanges in Nigeria backed by robust public participation from key stakeholders notably financiers, donors, public stakeholders’/ government officials, and international commodity exchanges as well as the larger Nigerian retail investment community can unlock a vast amount of capital in the short to medium term.
According to her, the capital market has the capacity to unlock better access to credit and finance for the sector through innovative financing structures and products.
“This is also true for Nigeria’s abundant minerals, especially the solid ones. Many of these minerals are presently dug up on a subsistence basis and sold in markets around the world in a disorderly fashion. It is high time we created a market where they would be traded in an orderly manner, to the benefit of the Nigerian economy.
“Agriculture remains an important part of that plan holding the potential of delivering on the country’s food security needs, providing jobs and increasing our foreign exchange earnings. Despite this potential of the sector to deliver on these important metrics, credit to the sector has remained less than 5% of bank lending for the past 10 years severely hampering its development”.
These important points and benefits she said, have dictated the Commissions’ decision to host the International Conference on the Nigerian Commodities Market 2020 with the theme “Commodities Trading Ecosystem: Key to diversifying the Nigerian Economy.”
Uduk said ICNCM2020 will gather relevant stakeholders in the commodities ecosystem to consider the most pertinent issues in growing the ecosystem in Nigeria, with the end goal of creating an enabling environment for the deployment of innovative solutions that improve processes, products, productivity, and the partnerships available in the market as well as enable investors to access various investment opportunities across the value chain.
“We, therefore, invite all stakeholders to join us at the conference; bringing their ideas, thoughts, and perspectives to the discourse of how we can build a robust commodities market in our dear country, Nigeria” she added.
Chairperson of the Market Wide Technical Committee on Commodities Trading Ecosystem, Ms. Daisy Ekine, said the technical committee held several meetings and looked at the challenges, the benefits of strengthening the ecosystems and made about 30 recommendations.
“The recommendations were actually implemented in four different phases. One of the recommendations was that there should be a stakeholders’ engagement and that means that every stakeholder in the commodities ecosystem must be part of it.
“What we plan to do on Monday 16 March 2020 is to hold a conference on the Commodities trading ecosystem which is still part of that stakeholder engagement, but we have done quite a lot on the stakeholder engagement, not that is not enough but quite a lot,” she said.
Ekine said commodities do not only include agriculture but also solid minerals but added that the Committee decided to start with agriculture and with time gravitate into trading solid minerals and the metals and the oils and ultimately expects the exchanges to trade in crude oil and other natural gas in the near future.
Photo caption L-R, Acting Executive Commissioner, Operations, Securities and Exchange Commission, Isyaku Tilde, Acting Director General SEC Ms. Mary Uduk, Chairperson, Market Wide Technical Committee on Commodities Trading Ecosystem Ms. Daisy Ekine and Acting Executive Commissioner Corporate Services SEC, Edward Okolo, during a briefing on International Conference on Nigeria Commodities Market 2020 in Abuja Wednesday.