The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC has emphasized the need to have a vibrant Commodities Exchange to ensure that Nigeria realizes its full potentials in that space as well as boost foreign exchange earnings.
Acting Director General of the SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, made the call at the opening ceremony of a Training for Senior Managers and Management Staff of the Investment and Securities Tribunal, IST in Abuja, Tuesday.
Uduk who was represented by Head of Department, Registration, Exchanges and Market Infrastructure of the SEC, Mr. Emomotimi Agama, said the nation needs to harness the full potentials in the Commodities market.
According to Uduk, “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.
“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” She said.
She disclosed that these commodities can be exported, while on the other hand industries can be set up that will employ a large number of our teeming population.
“If we can develop this very well, our country will be better for it. What we need now are better pricing, transparency and better quality and these are what we set to achieve with the farmers and 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.
Uduk disclosed that expectedly with the successful introduction of an initiative, there are bound to be disagreements and disputes, hence the need to train the IST officials, who are empowered by Investments and Securities Act, ISA 2007 to adjudicate on capital market issues.
She said, “It was realized that this success in the commodities market will bring about disputes. Once the exchange becomes very vibrant, there is bound to be issues and disputes.
“By virtue of the ISA 2007, the Investments and Securities Tribunal, IST is the adjudicator in event of such issues in the capital market. It is then important the IST which has this responsibility is properly aware of these issues and the types of disputes that will arise”.
She added that the training is to create a foundation that we can build upon as we go along. Our resolve is to always involve the IST in capacity building so that when there are disputes, they could be quickly resolved thereby increasing investors’ confidence and deepening the market.