The Securities and Exchange Commission has said the commodities trading ecosystem is capable of playing a strong role in the nation’s diversification efforts as being championed by the present administration.
The acting Director-General, SEC, Ms Mary Uduk, while speaking at a capacity building programme for judges and top management members of the Investment and Securities Tribunal in Abuja on Monday, said it was important to organise the commodities market to enhance its efficiency, growth and competitiveness.
She added that the commodities market would play a strong enabling role in food security, employment generation and economic diversification, which she described as the main thrust of the government.
Uduk, who was represented by the acting Executive Commissioner, Operations, SEC, Mr Isyaku Tilde, said there were a lot of benefits in promoting commodities exchanges and the ecosystem in general “as they provide a transparent pricing mechanism, promote attractiveness of agribusiness, foster financial inclusion and improve quality of agricultural output and profitability as well as government revenue.”
She said as part of its implementation of the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan, SEC constituted a technical committee on commodities trading ecosystem, whose mandate was to identify challenges of the existing framework/infrastructure and develop a road map for a vibrant ecosystem.
According to her, the technical committee set up to develop a road map for reviving the commodities trading ecosystem came up with over 40 recommendations to be implemented in four phases between 2018 and 2025.
She said, “The report observed the knowledge gap that exists within the ecosystem and recommended the need for capacity building on the commodities trading ecosystem to stakeholders and to the general public.
“To ensure the implementation of these initiatives, SEC constituted an implementation committee consisting of institutional members to drive the process. The training became necessary because the IST statutorily has jurisdiction over securities-related matters and this includes the commodity trading market.”
According to her, the successful implementation of the technical committee’s report will lead to more activities in the market and resolve disputes.
“It is without a doubt that investors’ protection is at the heart of market regulation. This implies that the most important participant in the capital market is the investor, hence, the overriding need for strong regulation and adequate safeguards coupled with an efficient dispute resolution mechanism,” Uduk added.
The Chairman, IST, Mr Isaiah Idoko-Akoh, commended SEC for organising the training programme, adding that with the way the market was progressing, the commodity market had become a very important aspect.
He said the IST had seen the growth of commodities exchanges in other jurisdictions and hoped to have a similar interface to assist in moving the nation’s economy forward.