By G9ija

The federal government has been urged to incentivise the trading of commodities through provision of high quality seedlings to farmers among others, saying it will impact positively on the Nigerian economy.

This was part of the recommendations at the end of a two-day International conference on the Nigerian commodities market with the theme: “Commodities Trading Ecosystem: Key to diversifying Nigeria’s economy” organised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

According to the communique issued at the conclusion of the conference, access to long-term funds through the Nigerian capital market was identified as critical towards the holistic development of the Agricultural sector.

The participants agreed that Nigeria must decisively address the challenges across the entire gamut of the agriculture value chain in terms of access to finance by farmers, aggregation of smallholder farmers, storage, warehousing and transportation, establishment of efficient irrigation mechanisms to ensure year-round farming, availability of effective de-risking frameworks and the introduction of modern scientific solutions as well as cutting-edge equipment for mechanised farming.

The regulator on the other hand, was urged to remain an impartial enabler and promoter, providing a framework for exchanges, institutions and participants in the commodities ecosystem to thrive.

“Stakeholders need to ensure efficiency in the commodities ecosystem for securitisation to be successful. This could be achieved by ensuring gaps in the value chain are addressed and responsibility to addressing these gaps taken up by appropriate stakeholders. Nigeria must begin to adjust to the reality of the emergence of digital commodity exchanges that trade digital assets. Adaptable technology for trading of commodities that addresses needs of millennials should also be developed,” the communiqué said.

In her remarks, acting Director General of the SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk while commending participants for a successful conference, said one of the key initiatives of the 10 year Capital Market Master Plan is the development of a thriving commodities trading ecosystem as part of the capital market’s contribution to the national economy.

According to her, while it is clear that Nigeria is well endowed with agricultural, metals and energy commodities, the nation’s potential in these areas are unrealised.

Meanwhile, the stock market bourse sustained its bearish trend as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) by 0.7 per cent to 22,543.07, while market capitalisation shed N84.5 billion to close at N11.8 trillion. Activity level improved as volume and value traded rose 22.6 per cent and 40 per cent to 675.8 million shares and N8.1 billion respectively.

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