Nigeria is making determined efforts to boost its economy by promoting the growth of the agricultural and mineral commodities market, according to Mr. Lamido Yuguda, the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In a recent press briefing in Lagos, Yuguda highlighted Nigeria’s abundance of exportable commodities that can generate foreign exchange for the country. The SEC is working closely with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to develop standards for these commodities, ensuring they meet international export requirements.
Through the collaboration with SON, several standards have already been developed and well-received in nearby markets. These standards will facilitate the export of Nigerian agricultural and mineral products to the international market, thereby bolstering the national economy. Yuguda expressed satisfaction with the government’s support for the commodities sector, which aligns with the SEC’s efforts to develop this market further.
Yuguda emphasized the potential of the agricultural sector, describing Nigeria as a nation with rich agricultural resources. However, due to the lack of standardized practices, much of the agricultural produce is currently sold only in local markets and often faces rejection in international markets. Yuguda stressed the need for proper standardization to enable Nigeria to export its high-quality fruits and other agricultural products.
In addition to agriculture, the SEC is also collaborating with the Ministry of Solid Minerals to tap into the opportunities presented by the mineral sector. Yuguda acknowledged the prevalence of artisanal mining and highlighted the importance of collaboration between state governments and the Ministry of Mines to establish standards and licensing processes, ensuring sustainable and regulated mining practices.
As part of the implementation of the Capital Market Master Plan, the SEC has established a Technical Committee on Commodities Trading Ecosystem. This committee, in collaboration with stakeholders such as SON, is tasked with addressing existing framework challenges and developing a roadmap for a vibrant commodities trading ecosystem. One of the key recommendations of the committee’s report is the development of a grading and standardization system in line with international best practices.
Yuguda expressed optimism about the future growth of the agricultural sector and the overall commodities market. He believed that by addressing standardization issues, Nigeria could seize significant opportunities in these sectors. The SEC is committed to collaborating with various government agencies and stakeholders to enhance capacity building, set standards, and advocate for domestic and international development in the commodities market.