Buhari to Grace International Commodities Conference in Abuja

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By Dipo Olowookere

On March 16 and 17, 2020, stakeholders in the commodities market from within and outside Nigeria will gather at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja to brainstorm in issues in the space.

The event is being hosted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and it is to further deepen the capital market and have a vibrant commodities exchange.

The international conference on the Nigeria Commodities Market is themed Commodities Trading Ecosystem: Key to Diversifying Nigeria’s Economy and would be graced by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to acting Director General of SEC, Ms Mary Uduk, 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.

Ms Uduk 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.

“One of the crucial initiatives of the 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,” she said.

“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,” she added.

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.

Ms 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.

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

Others are Chairman House Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions, Mr Ibrahim Babangida; Governor Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele; President Africa Development Bank, Mr Akinwumi Adesina; President Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Dr. Agnes Kalibata; Chairman Economic Advisory Council, Mr Doyin Salami; and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr Bello Mohammed.

Recall that as part of its mandate to promote and enhance the development of Nigerian capital market, 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.

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