The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced its partnership with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to establish standards for commodities intended for export. The aim of this collaboration is to promote economic growth, create employment opportunities for Nigerians, and generate foreign exchange for the nation.
In a statement released on Tuesday, SEC highlighted the significant growth expected in Nigeria’s agricultural sector in the coming years. However, the first-quarter report from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed a 0.90 percent moderation in the agric sector, leading to a decline in the country’s overall Gross Domestic Product. This marks the first decline in the sector’s growth in the past seven years.
Lamido Yuguda, the Director-General of SEC, shared that the collaboration with SON has already yielded the development of some standards, which have been exposed to different markets and received positive feedback. Yuguda emphasized that the establishment of these standards will facilitate the export of Nigerian products to the international market, thereby boosting the country’s economy.
Yuguda acknowledged the potential of the agricultural sector and emphasized SEC’s efforts to promote agricultural and mineral commodities. He expressed concern that many of Nigeria’s resources are currently sold in local markets without adhering to any form of standards, leading to the rejection of agricultural produce in the international market.
Yuguda cited the successful export of agricultural products, particularly fruits, by smaller countries and lamented Nigeria’s absence in this market due to the lack of standardization. He stressed the importance of developing and implementing proper standards to ensure the acceptance of Nigerian agricultural products on the global stage.
The SEC Director-General regarded the collaboration with SON as a positive step forward. He expressed his belief that this partnership could lead to significant progress in the future and anticipated substantial growth in the agricultural sector.
Yuguda also mentioned the collaboration between SEC and the Ministry of Solid Minerals, recognizing the immense opportunities in that sector. Currently, there is a prevalence of artisanal mining, and Yuguda highlighted the need for collaboration between state governments and the Ministry of Mines to standardize mining practices and ensure licensing by the government for sustainable mining operations.
As part of its implementation of the Capital Market Master Plan, SEC established a Technical Committee on Commodities Trading Ecosystem. The committee’s mandate is to identify challenges within the existing framework and develop a roadmap for a vibrant ecosystem. To drive the implementation of the committee’s report, a stakeholder committee, including SON, was formed. One of the report’s recommendations emphasized the development of a grading and standardization system aligned with international best practices.
The collaboration between SEC and SON represents a significant step towards enhancing the export potential of Nigerian commodities. By establishing and implementing proper standards, Nigeria aims to capitalize on its abundant agricultural resources, increase its participation in the global market, and boost economic growth.