SEC Moves to Develop Commodities Trading Eco-system

The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) building is pictured in Abuja, Nigeria January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking the buy-in of policy makers and agencies of government as well as the perspectives of stakeholders towards encouraging investments and more participation in the commodities market.

To further deepen the capital market and have a vibrant commodities exchange, the SEC said it is set to hold a roundtable on the commodities trading eco-system.

According to the acting Director-General of the SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, the roundtable which is scheduled to hold on October 3, 2019, in Lagos with the theme: ‘Building a strong Commodities Trading Ecosystem for Inclusive Economic Development’, is expected to attract industry experts, policy makers and leaders of thought  to brainstorm in a bid to further develop the commodities market in Nigeria.

In a statement, SEC quoted Uduk as saying that the objective of the roundtable is to obtain the buy-in of policy-makers and agencies of government to get the perspectives of stakeholders towards encouraging investments and get more participation in the commodities market.

She said: “The Capital Market Master Plan did an analysis of where we are and where we want to be as the leading capital market in Africa, and one of the areas is the commodities market which is very important, but one of the least developed. The Nigerian economy is mainly agrarian driven; all states of the federation have exportable quantities of commodities and we have some of the highest grades in the world.

“The government wants to diversify to agriculture, and so we need to be able to export some of these commodities. If the farmers do very well, the earnings of the country will be boosted.”

SEC boss disclosed that these commodities can be exported, while on the other hand, industries can be set up to employ a large number of Nigerian teeming population.

She argued that if this could be well developed, the country would be better for it, adding that things needed now are better pricing, transparency and better quality, and these are what we set to achieve with the farmers, so that is why the commodities exchange is important.

“The crude form they are trading now does not provide the farmers the benefit of price discovery, transparency among others. The only way to achieve these is to have an exchange, hence the need arose to set up the Technical Committee to look holistically at all the issues the country needs to harness the full potential in the commodities market,” she said.

According to her, the aim of SEC is to have an efficient commodities exchange because right now, that sector of the capital market is dormant and that is why the Commission is leading other capital market stakeholders on capacity building and public enlightenment campaigns.

Some of the topics to be discussed at the roundtable include enabling environment for functional commodities trading system, developing a thriving commodities market; success stories from Africa and emerging economies and private sector involvement, which are key to a strong commodities trading system.