SEC Seeks Rules to Enhance Commodities Exchange Operations


By Ndubuisi Francis

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revealed that it is working to get appropriate rules that will enhance the operations of the commodities and futures exchange.

It disclosed that in a bid to ensure that the relevant standards required are approved, it was engaging with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and pulling its weight to ensure increased visibility of the nation’s commodities in the international market.

SEC Director General, Mr. Lamido Yuguda, who spoke during a visit of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions to the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE) in Lagos, yesterday, described the development of a vibrant and efficient commodities trading ecosystem as a major driver of economic growth and development.

A statement issued by the Head, Public Communications, Efe Ebelo said that while assuring that SEC was committed to working with the Exchange to grow the commodities market, Yuguda stared that the commission was willing to work with the LCFE to develop all the rules needed to realise the potential of the country in the area of commodities trading.

He added that SEC’s responsibility was to ensure good market development, fair trading and investor protection.

“This visit is a demonstration of the commitment both the legislative arm of government and the regulator have to the development of the capital market of which the commodities market is important. We are impressed with what we have seen here today.

“We have engaged them for the past one year and are aware they have been working hard to make this exchange successful. We are working to get appropriate rules that will enhance the operations of the exchange.”

“In a bid to ensure the relevant standards required are approved by the SON, we are engaging them and pulling our weight to ensure increased visibility of our commodities in the international market

“We need to get the foundation right and are ready to assist you in any way to ensure that we get this right, as this will lead to a more vibrant economy for us in the years to come,” he stated.

In his remarks during the visit, the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions, Hon. Babangida Ibrahim said it was imperative for Nigeria to develop the capital market in a bid to accelerate economic growth and tackle the infrastructural challenges bedevilling the nation.

Ibrahim said the lawmakers decided to visit the exchange to familiarise themselves with their workings in a bid to provide legislative support where necessary.

He said capital markets broaden access to economic prosperity by enabling the emergence of financially responsible citizens, accelerating wealth creation and wealth distribution, providing capital to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), and catalysing housing finance.

The added that the capital market is a critical sector that contributes to macro-economic and financial system stability by fostering the diversification of economies and raising their capacity to absorb volatile capital flows.

He said: “Our purpose is to visit most of the exchanges and understand how they operate snd see if there is any parliamentary intervention we can provide. The only way to save the economy is through capital market activities.”

On the issue of unclaimed dividends, Ibrahim said the National Assembly was committed to supporting investors in ensuring that they receive the benefit for investing in the capital market.

Speaking earlier, Chairman of LCFE, Chief Onyenwechukwu Ezeagu said the need to fully realise the potential of the federal government’s drive towards the development of the agricultural and solid minerals sector and to tap the inherent opportunities brought about the initiative to establish a Commodities and Futures Exchange, which will be well positioned to support the government’s strides to create wealth and enhance flow of foreign currency.

Ezeagu said the exchange will redefine standards of the Nigerian commodities ecosystem and give hope to producers of commodities who are constantly searching for ways to offload and improve on their commodities.