Commodities export will grow Nigeria’s economy – SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission has said that Nigeria has various commodities that could be exported in a bid to grow the country’s economy, provide jobs as well as provide the nation with foreign exchange earnings.

The commission disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the Director General of the SEC, Lamido Yuguda, stated this while speaking in Lagos at the weekend.

Mr Yuguda said the agricultural sector in the country is expected to grow significantly in the near future.

He added that in its desire to ensure that agricultural produce is of exportable standards and quality, the commission is collaborating with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to develop standards for commodities.

As a result of the collaboration with SON, he said some of the standards have been developed and exposed to different markets close by and they have been well received.

The SEC DG explained that the development of these standards will pave the way for the export of these products to the international market and in turn, boost the Nigerian economy.

He said the commission is pleased about the new government’s mention of supporting the commodities sector as it will further boost the SEC’s efforts at developing the sector.

“Already, we have licensed a total of five (5) exchanges and also approved the trading and framework for operations of different instruments.

“We are collaborating with Nigeria’s National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), SON and the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals and Mines in various ways to develop the sector.

“Ranging from capacity building, standard setting, domestic and international advocacy etc,” he said.

He noted that the commission has been working strenuously to encourage players in both the agricultural commodities and mineral commodities sectors.

“This is a market that has a lot of potential for Nigeria. We are a very good agricultural nation and we have a lot of resources and right now most of them are sold in local markets without any form standards and because of that a lot of our agricultural produce is rejected in the international market.

“You see, smaller countries are able to export their agricultural products, especially fruits. Our fruits are among the best in the world, but unfortunately, we are not participating in this market because of the issues of standardisation,” Mr Yuguda said.

The SEC boss said that the commission expects the agricultural sector to grow significantly in the near future.

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“We are also collaborating with the Ministry of Solid Minerals because there is a lot of opportunity in that sector. But right now there is a lot of artisanal mining, so there needs to be a collaboration between State governments and the Ministry of Mines so that there is a kind of standardisation and those mining are licenced by the government and this mining is happening on a sustainable basis,” he said.

He added that as part of its implementation of the capital market master plan, the commission constituted a technical committee on the commodities trading ecosystem whose mandate was to identify challenges of the existing framework and develop a roadmap for a vibrant ecosystem.

“A committee comprising 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,” he said.

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