By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, has disclosed that commodities exchanges have the potential to improve the living standards in Nigeria and create jobs for the populace.
The SEC DG made this disclosure on Thursday at a one-day seminar organised by his agency in collaboration with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Kano.
He described commodity exchange as critical to enabling investment diversification, risk management, price discovery and transactional efficiency which will, in turn, facilitate economic development among other benefits.
According to him, the exchanges have the potential to efficiently link commodities to industries thereby creating jobs, improving living standards and unlocking the economic potentials of farming communities, promoting rural development, enhancing financial inclusion of smallholder farmers, and ultimately facilitating economic development, amongst other benefits.
He described the workshop as indeed timely considering the government’s policy shift towards economic diversification and the need to deepen capacity across the agricultural value chain.
Mr Yuguda said a thriving commodities trading ecosystem, with grading and standardization features, would ensure compliance with established grades and standards, eliminate or reduce the proliferation of sub-standard commodities in the markets, and encourage global acceptance of commodities produced in Nigeria, among other benefits.
According to the SEC Boss, the Technical Committee on Commodities Trading Ecosystem had in 2017, developed a Roadmap for the actualization of a vibrant commodities ecosystem. The Committee specifically identified the development of a grading and standardization system that will align with international best practices as an important precursor in achieving vibrancy in the ecosystem.
“I am happy to report that the Ecosystem Roadmap Implementation Committee has been working tirelessly on the development of a grading and standardization system. The initial stage of the development process would concentrate on the delivery of standards for agricultural commodities.
“In this regard, we are working closely with the SON to create awareness for existing agricultural commodities standards, but more essentially to obtain feedback from stakeholders on the standards to be presented for consideration of stakeholders at this Workshop to trigger a review of inadequate standards if and where applicable.”
In addition, Mr Yuguda said the 10- year capital market master plan which is the blueprint for the growth and development of the capital market over the next decade, designates commodities exchanges as critical for enabling investment diversification, risk management, price discovery and transactional efficiency.
He said efficient Commodities Exchanges coupled with a grading and standardization system that will align with international best practices are no doubt critical elements in achieving a thriving Commodities trading value chain.
“Commodities exchanges offer significant value addition by providing a platform that improves confidence and assurance, as trading activities within the platform are conducted in a fair, transparent and efficient manner.
“In addition, commodities purchased through these Exchanges are guaranteed to comply with standards in terms of quality and weight.
“Nigeria strives to achieve a sustainably-diversified economy, food security and sufficiency, there is need for all stakeholders to ensure the effective adoption and enforcement of appropriate standards to establish quality, and reverse the embarrassing rejection of Nigerian-produced agricultural commodities outside Nigeria,” he stated.
The SEC boss assured that the commission remains a strong advocate for a thriving commodities trading ecosystem adding, “believe, and very strongly too, that this is a project of national importance, given that an efficient commodities ecosystem can transform our economy by promoting economic diversification, and export promotion amongst others.”
In his remarks, the DG of SON, Mr Farouk Salim, said the role and importance of commodity markets cannot be overemphasized in connecting both producers and consumers in a centralized liquid marketplace and for the economic growth of the nation.
Mr Salim stated that countries with older and better commodity exchanges have historically gained an economical advantage over others adding that in support of Nigeria’s readiness to key into the global sustainable commodity market, SON is ready to partner in areas where its services and products are needed including; development of new Standards and review of existing ones.
According to him, “Trading in agricultural produce among which are: Wheat, rice, corn, soybeans, maize, groundnut are growing steadily. There is no gainsaying that ‘Without agricultural commodities, the world will starve’. This sector of the commodity market has thus become important in support of the economic diversification policy of the federal government.
“Commodity standards and grades provide a means for measuring levels of quality and value for agricultural commodities. These standards provide a basis for domestic and international trade and promote efficiency in marketing and procurement.
“In connecting buyers and suppliers, the market ensures that the quality of the commodities exchanged is in accordance with the required guidelines which are none other than Standards. This, you will all agree, is largely achievable with compliance to quality requirements specified in each commodity standard.
Mr Salim assured that the SON is committed to ensuring that the primary objective of the commodity exchange to offer fair pricing to the producers and deliver genuine commodities to the consumers is continuously achieved through quality production based on conformity to applicable Standards.
In a message, Governor of Kano State, Mr Abdullahi Ganduje, said the state was at the forefront of enhancing agricultural activities in the state, adding that there was also a need to be able to reach out to the farmers in the languages they can understand to as to understand the importance of the program.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Nasir Gawuna, the Governor expressed the need for the farmers to be familiar with the standards first before they can be encouraged to use them in the packaging of their products.
Ellah Lakes, Enugu Government Seal Rice Processing Deal
By Dipo Olowookere
A Nigerian agribusiness company, Ellah Lakes Plc, has sealed an agreement with the Enugu State government for the processing of rice aimed to improve food security in the state and the nation at large.
The chief executive of the firm, Mr Chuka Mordi, described the deal as “a significant landmark for the company in fulfilling our strategic objective of diversifying our portfolio and production base.”
Ellah Lakes said in a statement that with the partnership, it will transform the Ada Rice Company and Plantation in Adani, Uzo-Uwani LGA, into a Staple Crop Processing Zone (SCPZ) in Enugu State.
This is expected to create not less than 5,000 jobs over the next 24 months as the company will have the opportunity to establish a feed mill and ethanol processing plant on the site in Adani.
Business Post reports that Adani community is well-known for the cultivation and production of rice but due to poor infrastructure and support of the government, it has suffered low patronage.
This partnership between the Enugu State government and Ellah Lakes should change the narrative for good and boost local production of rice.
In the statement issued on Wednesday by Ellah Lakes, a company listed on the trading platform of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, work is scheduled to begin immediately in Adani.
“Ellah Lakes is happy to announce that it has entered into an agreement with the Enugu State Government, through the Enugu State Technical Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, for the expansion and further development of the Ada Rice Company and plantation in Adani, Uzo-Uwani LGA, into a Staple Crop Processing Zone (SCPZ) in Enugu State, Nigeria.
“Ellah Lakes will produce and process rice with the participation of over 200 indigenous farmers in the local out-grower program. Ellah Lakes will also develop a feed mill and ethanol processing plant on the site in Adani.
“The development is expected to create a minimum of 5,000 jobs over the next 24 months, and work is scheduled to begin immediately,” a part of the statement disclosed.
“This is a significant landmark for the company in fulfilling our strategic objective of diversifying our portfolio and production base, and we are very excited to be working with the Enugu State Government.
“We are very pleased with this collaboration with the very progressive government of Enugu State. For us, this is the beginning of a great journey to expand the industrial base of the state, and we look forward to a mutually beneficial, valuable and fruitful venture,” Mr Mordi was quoted as saying.
Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Rewards Customers
Ahead of the festive season, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, Nigeria’s largest Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), has unveiled the Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Loyalty Program tagged Umatter.
It is a reward scheme targeted at the customers of the PFA, to reward them for their loyalty and patronage through exclusive discounts as they shop with their e-loyalty card.
The loyalty program is available at the PFA’s partner merchants’ locations and stores across the nation. It is aimed at providing Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers’ customers with exciting shopping discounts to help them spend less and save more when they shop.
Some of the participating merchant outlets are Maybrands, Café Royale, Hubmart Stores, Chocolate Royal, La Campagne Tropicana, Physio Centers of Africa, Medplus, iStore, Oriki, Launderland and Active Leisure. The discounts range from 5 to 12 per cent on products and services purchased.
Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers’ partnerships with these major outlets will enable customers to seamlessly enjoy instant discounts on their purchases during this festive period, thereby making life even more easy and affordable for customers who use the Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers e-loyalty card.
Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers will continue to initiate valuable programs like this that encourage people to continue saving for their retirement and building their financial future.
New and existing customers can be a part of this exciting loyalty program by visiting www.stanbicibtcpension.com or calling 01 271 6000.
FG to Inject N381trn into Economy to Create Job, Tackle Poverty
By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government is partnering with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to inject N381 trillion into the economy to cushion the growing rate of poverty, job losses and economic degradation in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of the Fund, Mr Joseph Ari, during a media interaction with the Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Jos.
Mr Ari said the federal government came up with a 5-year National Development Plan tied around the sum of money to be able to achieve this aim.
He said the plan will replace the initial Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP).
According to him: “The plan, which projects the creation of 21 million jobs, with 35 million Nigerians lifted out of poverty, affordable housing for Nigerians and an export-led economy among others, is expected to cost N381 trillion to implement and have six focal areas of economic growth and development, infrastructure, public administration, human capital development, social development and regional development.
“As the leading human capital development institution in Nigeria, we have commenced the process of repositioning our programmes and activities to effectively prepare the Nation’s workforce in line with our mandate of developing a pool of qualified Nigerians to man the public and private sectors of the national economy as we believe that for this plan to succeed, all Nigerians as individual citizens and as institutions must contribute their bit.
“You will recall that on the assumption of office in 2016, the economy was in recession leading to massive job losses and corresponding increases in poverty.
“Our initiatives then particularly the emphasis on skills intervention programmes was borne out of the need to drive the actualization of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP), which we achieved to an appreciable degree by training hundreds of thousands of Nigerians that are today gainfully employed or even employers of labour,” Mr Ari said.
He, however, lauded the media for a robust coverage of the Funds activities over the years, saying that the media has been critical in return of peace in the state.
“Beyond this, fora such as we are holding today have been critical to the return of peace in plateau state, thereby creating the necessary environment for our organisation to thrive especially within the last five years on account of your professionalism and determined efforts to rise above sensationalism, headline-grabbing and petty politics,” Mr Ari said.
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