CEM REPORT, AGROFOOD | The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated that the agricultural sector is “key to our country’s future. If we can harness it, it will greatly improve the economy of this country”.
The commission added that the lack of standards is why some of Nigeria’s commodities are not being accepted in the international market.
SEC’s Director General, Lamido Yuguda, who stated this during a meeting with the management of the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) in Abuja noted that the SEC is working hard to ensure that agricultural products meet international specifications for export.
He added that the need to work with the NAIC became imperative to be able to mitigate various risks in the ecosystem when they happen.
“The SEC has been doing a lot of things in the commodities sector and the role of NAIC in this sector cannot be overemphasized and based on that, we would like to explore areas of collaboration to see how far we can help grow that sector together. “
The SEC DG noted that 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.
While stating 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 adding that SEC is working with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to develop standards.
“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 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.
“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.”
NAIC’s Managing Director, 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.