By Goddy Egene
The Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC), Mr. Lamido Yuguda, has called for collaboration with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), saying there should be a speedy approval and publication of standards relevant to the commodities trading ecosystem.
Yuguda stated this during a meeting with the SON management in Abuja yesterday.
According to him, as part of its implementation of the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan, the commission constituted a Technical Committee on commodities Trading Ecosystem whose mandate was to identify challenges of the existing framework and develop a roadmap for a vibrant ecosystem.
“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 development of grading and standardisation system in line with international best practice,” he said.
Yuguda stated that it is globally recognised that a unique feature of a commodities exchange is the standardisation of the commodities traded on its platform.
“However, the determination of these grades and standards is dependent upon approved local standards which should take into cognisance internationally accepted standards. Imbibing international standards for export commodities cannot be compromised if the exchanges have to play a pivotal role in export promotion,” he said.
He noted that the establishment of relevant standards would be transformational for the Nigerian commodities trading ecosystem.
“Standards provide consumers with an assurance of fitness of purpose, processors with commodities specifications, and serves as reference point against which features of commodities can be compared. Other benefits include increase in value to smallholder farmers due to premium paid on high quality commodities, reduction of post-harvest losses due to standard post-harvest handling, packaging and storage, as well as increased employment opportunities through the setup of warehouses and assaying companies to provide quality assurance services,” he said.
In his remarks, the DG of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim said the agency is excited to collaborate with the SEC as it seeks to develop the capital market in Nigeria and the Nigerian economy at large.
“We are committed to helping our people especially the farmers and support them to attain food sufficiency. If there is standardisation, the banks will be willing to finance the farmers and the commodities can be exported for the much needed foreign exchange to boost our economy,” he said.