The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said that lack of standards is why some of Nigeria’s commodities are not being accepted in the international market.
SEC’s Director General, Mr Lamido Yuguda, stated this during a meeting with the management of the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) in Abuja.
The impediment: The SEC DG said that there are markets that need Nigerian commodities. But the only impediment at the moment is the lack of standards which is stopping some of the commodities from being accepted in the international market.
He assured that the SEC is working hard to ensure that agricultural products 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 to add that “the sector is key to our country’s future. If we can harness it, it will greatly improve the economy of this country”.
The commitment: Yuguda stated 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. He said:
- “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.”
Market Master Plan: He said the Commission as part of its implementation of the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan, 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 practices. 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 overemphasised and based on that, we would like to explore areas of collaboration to see how far we can help grow that sector together.
The opportunities: Also speaking, SEC’s Executive Commissioner for Operations, Mr Dayo Obisan, said enormous opportunities abound in the entire agricultural value chain. He noted that if the opportunities are well harnessed, they would lead to the 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.
- There are a lot of things we can do together and we are looking forward to this partnership with you.” he said.
NAIC’s commitment: Managing, the 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.”
The NAIC MD added that in areas of storage and insurance issues, the collaboration will be of great benefit to all parties involved and assured that NAIC is ready to provide their expertise in anything that will add value to the commodities ecosystem.