SEC To Hold International Commodities Conference

Salamatu Ejembi, Lagos

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The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, is to host an international conference on the Nigeria Commodities Market.

In a statement, this is in a bid to further deepen the capital market and have a vibrant commodities exchange.

The proposed theme of the conference is, “Commodities Trading Ecosystem: Key to Diversifying Nigeria’s Economy” and it is scheduled to hold on March 16th and 17th, 2020 at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari is to be present as the Special Guest of Honour.

Special guests expected at the event include Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Trade and Investment, Chief Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono and Chairman Senate Committee on Capital mArket, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

Other special guests expected are: Chairman House Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions, Hon. Ibrahim Babangida, Governor Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Godwin Emefiele, and President Africa Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina. others expected at the conference are President Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Dr. Agnes Kalibata and Chairman Economic Advisory Council, Dr. Doyin Salami. Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Hon. Bello Mohammed will be the host of the event.

Speaking about the forthcoming event, Acting DG, SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, said the conference will bring together relevant stakeholders in the commodities ecosystem as well as relevant stakeholders from the international community to discuss issues pertaining to the commodities ecosystem in Nigeria including creating an enabling environment for players at all levels to interact, as well as push for high level developmental and legal supporting structures.

Uduk explained that “one of the crucial initiatives of the 10-year plan was to develop a thriving commodities trading ecosystem and fully utilise the nation’s potentials. We believe that if we can develop a vibrant commodities trading ecosystem in Nigeria, we can substantially address lack of storage, poor pricing, non-standardisation and low contribution of foreign exchange affecting our commodities sub-sector”.

“A vibrant commodities ecosystem would aid diversification from oil to non-oil sector and it would also boost the nation’s revenues and foreign exchange (forex) earnings”.

To this end, she said the commission is collaborating with relevant stakeholders to implement the 10-year capital market master plan and make Nigeria one of the world’s most liquid and Africa’s largest economy by 2025.

The acting DG stated that the role of commodity exchanges was critical to economic growth, especially in the areas of price transparency and value addition to farmers, ensuring quality products for buyers and providing investment opportunities across the value chain.

Uduk said Nigeria was still challenged in the area of transiting from an informal commodity trading system to one consummated on the platforms of commodity exchanges. She said if the country pays adequate attention to agriculture, it would boost food security, enhance job creation and facilitate production of raw materials for agro-processing pointing out that the capital market must operate at optimum level, even as the implementation of its 10-year master plan remains a priority.

Recall that as part of its mandate to promote and enhance the development of Nigerian capital market, SEC set up a Technical Committee on Commodities Trading Ecosystem in Nigeria to develop a roadmap towards achieving a thriving commodities trading ecosystem in Nigeria.

The Committee came up with a report which is currently in its implementation phase. As part of its recommendations, the committee proposed the hosting of an International conference.